Deshaun Watson will make his first start in a Cleveland uniform on Friday when the Browns face the Jacksonville Jaguars in their preseason opener.
The Browns said Wednesday in a brief post on their website that most of their starters will play Friday in Jacksonville. Watson, 26, was the only player mentioned by name.
When Watson will make his next start is unclear. After an NFL investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by multiple women, former U.S. district Judge Sue L. Robinson ruled Watson should be suspended six regular-season games without pay for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy.
The league has appealed the decision of Robinson, whom the league and the NFLPA agreed would serve as an independent disciplinary officer. Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday at league meetings in Minneapolis that Watson deserved a longer suspension.
“There were multiple violations that were egregious, and it was predatory behavior,” Goodell said.
Cleveland sent significant draft capital, including three future first-round draft picks, to the Houston Texans in March to acquire Watson. He signed a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract as part of a trade.
All that came under the cloud of allegations of sexual misconduct by two dozen masseuses. Two Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson.
The Browns are expected to start the season with veteran Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. Josh Rosen and Joshua Dobbs are fighting for the backup role.