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NFL will monitor developments in latest Deshaun Watson lawsuit

Mike Florio and Peter King discuss the latest allegation against Deshaun Watson, as the Browns QB faces his 26th lawsuit while serving an 11-game suspension.

On Thursday, yet another lawsuit was filed against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. According to the NFL, the lawsuit does not alter Watson’s current status. That, however, could change.

“Watson’s status remains unchanged,” NFL Chief Spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email. “We will monitor developments in the newly-filed litigation; and any conduct that warrants further investigation or possible additional sanctions would be addressed within the Personal Conduct Policy.”

Watson is serving an 11-game suspension, based on a process that entailed the presentation of evidence as to four alleged victims to Judge Sue L. Robinson, the jointly-hired hearing officer under the Personal Conduct Policy. It’s unclear whether the league is foreclosed from pursuing additional discipline based on other potential claims filed thereafter.

Watson currently is due to return for Cleveland’s Week 13 game at, coincidentally, Houston. Beyond any new claims, his return could be delayed based on whether and to what extent he complies, or fails to comply, with the terms of his current discipline.

The potential for more lawsuits lingers until the two-year anniversary of the last massage during which Watson allegedly attempted to covert the therapy into a sexual encounter. Assuming he stopped once he was sued, that window closes as a practical matter in the middle of March 2023.