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NFL releases statement on Deshaun Watson sexual misconduct investigation

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Oct 11, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) smiles before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL on Tuesday released a statement saying there are no restrictions being placed on Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson amid the league’s investigation into the allegations against him.

Watson is facing 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints from women in Houston alleging sexual misconduct against the 25-year-old.

However, he will not be put on paid leave. The league had this to say about Watson’s situation as the Texans open training camp.

“The NFL’s review of the serious allegations against Deshaun Watson remains ongoing and active,” the NFL said in the statement. “We are working cooperatively with the Houston Police Department and ensuring that the NFL’s inquiry does not interfere with their investigation. As we continue to gather additional information and monitor law enforcement developments, we will make appropriate decisions consistent with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Personal Conduct Policy. At this time there are no restrictions on Watson’s participation in club activities.”

Deshaun Watson has reported to the Texans’ training camp to avoid daily fines of $50,000. He continues to demand a trade from the team, which drafted him 12th overall in the 2017 draft.

What should the Houston Texans do with Deshaun Watson?

Deshaun Watson situation and the NFL’s statement

Deshaun Watson, Philadelphia Eagles
Dec 23, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) scores on a six-yard touchdown run during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

How the Texans move forward at quarterback and if they allow Watson to take part in those practices while on the trade block is unclear. It also remains to be seen whether other teams would even trade for Watson amid these serious allegations.

As the NFL noted, it is working in unison with the Houston Police Department’s criminal investigation into the allegations. Watson has yet to be charged criminally, which is a clear distinction that has to be made on the heels of the league’s statement.

Watson, 25, is coming off a 2020 campaign in which he led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards while throwing 33 touchdowns against seven interceptions. It’s not yet known if Watson will be on the field when Houston opens its season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sep. 12.

(Field Level Media contributed to this report)

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