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HOUSTON (AP) — Deshaun Watson signed autographs for Texans and Browns followers and posed for selfies earlier than his first recreation in 700 days in a well-recognized place.
As soon as the sport began, it was overwhelming boos for Watson.
Watson heard jeers earlier than taking every snap on his first sequence in his first recreation Sunday since getting back from an 11-game suspension for sexual misconduct. Watson’s debut with Cleveland comes in opposition to Houston, the place he was a three-time Professional Bowl decide in 4 seasons.
After an interception gave the Browns the ball at their 43, Watson threw a pair of incomplete passes. He spun away from a sack on third down, and followers cheered when his throw to David Bell hit the bottom.
Watson had a number of supporters within the stands earlier than the sport, whereas a bunch of the ladies who accused him of sexual harassment and assault throughout massages additionally deliberate to attend the sport.
One fan walked into NRG Stadium sporting a derogatory shirt in Browns colors that features textual content saying “I want a therapeutic massage.” He was joined by a fan sporting Watson’s No. 4 Browns jersey.
Followers within the parking zone arrange a pretend therapeutic massage desk with a model sporting a pink Texans jersey and a towel.
The few followers of their seats when Watson and the Browns jogged onto the sector about an hour earlier than kickoff booed.
Watson sat out the 2021 season after demanding a commerce from Houston. After two grand juries in Texas declined to indict him over the allegations, the Browns traded a number of draft picks to get Watson after which signed him to a completely assured $235 million contract.
After warming up, Watson signed jerseys for followers behind the tip zone. An 18-year-old man from East Texas obtained Watson’s autograph on his Browns jersey. A pair from Houston sporting Texans jerseys additionally obtained Watson’s signature on their jerseys.
“We don’t actually know what occurred and everybody deserves a second likelihood,” mentioned Sherry Holden, explaining her assist.
A number of Browns followers mentioned they have been uncomfortable rooting for Watson.
“I’m cheering for the jersey and the workforce however it’s laborious to simply accept him as my quarterback,” mentioned Brandon Collins, who traveled from Ohio for the sport.
The NFL wished to droop Watson for a minimum of one season however settled for 11 video games after an unbiased arbiter initially gave him a six-game ban. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell referred to as Watson’s conduct “egregious” and “predatory.”
Watson additionally was fined $5 million and required to endure skilled counseling and remedy. Watson has maintained his innocence but in addition apologized to the ladies he impacted.
The Browns went 4-7 with veteran Jacoby Brissett filling in for Watson. The Texans are 1-9-1.