CLEVELAND — As the NFL world -- and especially Cleveland -- awaits a decision on Deshaun Watson's potential suspension, it appears the waiting game will continue into next week.
Citing sources close to former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson, Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press reports that a decision on the Cleveland Browns quarterback is not expected Friday. Robinson has been jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) as the independent arbiter in Watson's disciplinary case, which comes as the result of several women having accused the 3-time Pro Bowl quarterback of sexual misconduct, including harassment and assault, during his time with the Houston Texans.
Should Robinson issue a punishment as a result of Watson violating the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy, it can then be appealed by either Watson or the league. Any such appeal would then be heard by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or a designee, who would issue a final ruling.
In the event that Robinson doesn't issue a punishment, no appeal can be made.
Two Texas grand juries have previously declined to indict Watson on criminal charges. Ahead of last month's disciplinary hearing with the league, which was overseen by Robinson, Clemson product settled 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits he was facing regarding the allegations, with a 25th having been dropped.
Earlier this month, the Texans, reached settlements with 30 women regarding allegations that they enabled the star quarterback's behavior during his time with the team. In a statement, the Texans said they admitted no guilt in making the settlements.
On Wednesday, Watson's new team, the Browns, opened training camp unsure at what point the NFL's 2020 passing leader would be available to make his regular-season debut. As a result, Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski has formulated a plan to get backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett plenty of first-team reps -- a plan that could be adjusted once a ruling is made.