The league argued for an indefinite suspension of at least one year during a three-day hearing in Delaware last month. The NFL Players’ Association pushed for no punishment, though a person familiar with Watson’s defense told the AP in June that a suspension is expected and the goal is to have Watson play this season.
Both sides submitted post-hearing briefs by July 12 and hoped for a decision before training camp opened this week. Robinson is carefully considering the case and isn’t held to a deadline.
If Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the league and the players’ union, imposes any punishment, either side can appeal. In that case, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee “will issue a written decision that will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute,” per terms of Article 46 in the collective bargaining agreement.
Jacoby Brissett would replace Watson as Cleveland’s starter during a suspension.
“With Deshaun, I know there is that uncertainty, like we talked about (Wednesday), but we can only control what we can control,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Thursday. “I think that is what he has done a very nice job of. So much of that in football is there is a lot of volume to what we are doing right now when it comes to football, so there are a lot of meetings, there is a lot of install and there is a lot of workout, walkthrough and practice. He has really thrown himself into that.”
Earlier this month, 30 women who had accused the Houston Texans of turning a blind eye to the allegations against Watson settled their legal claims against the team.