The Deshaun Watson era in Cleveland has officially arrived

Deshaun Watson, Browns. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]
Deshaun Watson, Browns. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union] /

Deshaun Watson has officially been reinstated by the NFL after complying with all parts of his 11-game suspension and is set to start for the Browns on Sunday.

Deshaun Watson is slated to start for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday as they head to Houston to take on Watson’s former team, the 1-9-1 Texans.

Watson will be making his first NFL start in nearly 700 days and will be playing in what promises to be a hostile environment.

The Browns officially activated Watson to the 53-man roster Monday. Cleveland also announced that they are waiving quarterback Joshua Dobbs to clear a roster spot for Watson, however, according to multiple reports, the Browns want Dobbs back if he clears waivers. The team still has quarterback Kellen Mond on their practice squad and quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who will now serve as Watson’s backup.

Watson now returns to the team in a full capacity following an offseason of chaos.

First, Watson was traded to Cleveland in one of the NFL’s most historic trades of all time. Cleveland sent Houston three first-round draft selections, a third-round draft pick, and two additional fourth-round draft selections in exchange for the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

Following 22 civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct and sexual assault, independent Judge Sue L. Robinson ruled that Watson should serve a 6-game suspension. The NFL appealed her decision and the two sides agreed on the 11-game ban.

As it stands currently, Watson has settled 23 of the civil cases against him and two cases remain active as he will return to the practice field Tuesday to take first-team reps and prepare for the Browns’ Week 13 matchup.

According to the settlement, Watson was permitted to return to the Browns’ facility on October 10th, practice with the team on November 14th and is now eligible to return to in-game action for Cleveland’s 12th game of the season.

The Browns’ 23-17 overtime win against the Buccaneers on Sunday keeps the possibility alive for Cleveland and Deshaun Watson to make a playoff run.

With a game remaining against each AFC North team as well as the Texans, New Orleans Saints and Washington Commanders, the Browns still have their eyes set on the postseason and will turn to their future quarterback to lead them.