Deshaun Watson facing possible suspension for antics against Steelers?
Deshaun Watson committed two personal fouls and made contact with an official during the Cleveland Browns’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night, and there is a chance the star quarterback could face significant disciplinary action.
Watson was flagged twice for grabbing the facemask of a defender when he was being pursued on scramble plays. After the first foul, a scrum ensued during which Watson made contact with an official. The referee was trying to separate Watson from the Steelers sideline when the quarterback grabbed the official by the shoulders and shoved him aside.
From last night:
Deshaun Watson appears to shove an official, wasn’t ejected or flagged
— lindsey ok (@lindseyyok) September 19, 2023
Making contact with an official is supposed to be an automatic ejection, but Watson got away with it. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the NFL will review both the shove and the facemask fouls.
On the possibility of Deshaun Watson's two blatant face mask fouls and his shove of an official resulting in a suspension, source says this: "All plays will be evaluated and assessed today."
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 19, 2023
When asked about the two facemask penalties after Cleveland’s 26-22 loss, Watson basically blamed the defenders who were pursuing him.
“As far as the facemasks and things like that, I’m stiff-arming like everyone else. And once they grab my arm as I’m running, they keep pushing, (so the) only way I can really let go is to swing across,” Watson said, as transcribed by Josh Carney of Steelers Depot. “And once they do that, my hand is stuck in their helmet or in their facemask, so I gotta do a better job of just hitting them with the palm, I guess, and just releasing as much as I can so we don’t get those penalties.”
Watson insisted he did not intentionally grab anyone’s facemask and said he has “never been that type of player.”
A fine seems more likely than a suspension, but Watson was definitely fortunate he was not ejected. Then again, we saw a player get away with something similar season.