Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, now released from his 11-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, spoke to the media Thursday for the first time in four months. He refused to answer questions about his legal proceedings with several women who are suing him for sexual misconduct, or about any of the 20-plus other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct
Watson, who will make his first NFL start in two years Sunday, opened the session by giving a personal statement. He thanked backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett, his teammates, athletic trainers and fans.
Watson emphasized that he would answer only football questions more than once. He was asked about therapy and counseling, and about whether he should be the face of an NFL franchise. He declined to answer both.
Watson also wouldn't answer a question about his mental state during the suspension, but discussed his general outlook on life.
The football questions were mostly focused on Watson coming back to play his first game in two years (against his former team the Houston Texans, no less) and how he has been shaking off rust and preparing.
He also gave a lot of love to Brissett for his quarterbacking over the first 11 games of the season.
Watson said he has been liking the Browns' QB-driven system, and has been learning more every day.
Watson emphasized that communicating with those big playmakers is important, and it's something that Brissett was very good at. He's also really looking forward to playing with running back Nick Chubb.
Watson and the Browns will take on the Texans at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.