Contrary to a Tuesday report indicating Deshaun Watson was unlikely to join the rest of the Texans at any point during 2021 training camp, the embattled star quarterback not only reported to camp this week but took the field -- and took snaps -- during Houston's first official practice Wednesday morning. Watson has reportedly made it clear since reporting that he still wants to be traded, and that he's only attending camp to avoid daily holdout fines. Off the field, he's still facing 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints alleging sexual assault or misconduct. At least on Wednesday, however, he operated under mostly standard procedure, even taking the field with his traditional red No. 4 camp jersey.
Watson removed the red jersey, designated for QBs at camp, before taking snaps in warm-up drills, as NFL Network's Steve Wyche noted. But he was spotted later wearing it again, this time taking play-action snaps and throwing short passes alongside fellow QB Tyrod Taylor, the Texans' presumptive Week 1 starter in the event of a Watson trade or suspension. The former first-round pick took additional reps in passing drills wearing a Texans hoodie, which he also wore during his first appearance at camp facilities Wednesday.
It remains to be seen what Watson's immediate and long-term future holds. New Texans general manager Nick Caserio told reporters before Wednesday's practice that Houston is taking it "one day at a time" with the QB, who remains under investigation by the NFL for his alleged off-field matters. Watson has reportedly sought a trade since before his legal issues surfaced, and now, amid the pending lawsuits, the Texans have reportedly changed their stance on a potential deal, opening the phone lines for prospective offers.
Caserio declined to confirm whether Watson or Taylor would officially open camp as the Texans' starting QB, saying all decisions regarding the former would be made "in the best interest of the team."
The NFL said Tuesday that its "review of the serious allegations against Deshaun Watson remains ongoing and active." As of now, the league has not imposed any restrictions regarding Watson's ability to partake in team activities.