Really, did anyone expect Deshaun Watson would get a hero’s welcome in his return to Houston?
Did anyone think he would look sharp and efficient on the field after not playing since the final week of the 2020 season?
The Cleveland Browns quarterback returned to action Sunday after sitting out the 2021 season, then serving an 11-game suspension due to sexual misconduct and assault allegations. Watson drew a tough assignment in his return, playing on the road against his former team, the Houston Texans.
The Texans traded Watson to the Browns this offseason in the wake of his legal issues. Before all that drama, Watson had been the face of the franchise since being drafted in 2017.
Sunday, Texans fans greeted their former quarterback like public enemy No. 1, showering him with boos before and during the game, and wearing crude T-shirts referencing his sexual assault allegations. And some tailgating fans even set up mock massage tables in the parking lot.
Far from a full NRG Stadium, but they rained down boos on Deshaun Watson before his first snap. pic.twitter.com/4o2TEbOMH9
— Matt Young (@Chron_MattYoung) December 4, 2022
Deshaun Watson is back in the NFL, in Houston.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 4, 2022
Watson did not look good against the porous Texans defense, as on this interception.
Deshaun Watson throws an interception in his return to Houston.
— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) December 4, 2022
Watson finished with 12 completions on 22 attempts for 131 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. The Browns won 27-14. But NFL fans still came fully armed with memes and mean tweets relishing Watson’s struggles.
Deshaun still touching people without their consent, eh?
— Ryan (@RaiderRyan24) December 4, 2022
You can tell Cal didn’t want to even shake his hand 😂
— Troy D. Greene (@TeaTimeTroy) December 4, 2022
Houston Texans special teams giving Deshaun Watson a nice deep massage allowing a punt return for a touchdown. smh.
— Foo Squared (@manthing11) December 4, 2022
Browns fans really thought he was gonna come back after 2 years with no football and carry them to 6 straight wins and a playoff berth
— Brandon (@bmaas18) December 4, 2022
The Houston Crowd to Deshaun Watson pic.twitter.com/ZBOVD3Hweo
— Blake Garman (@FrostedBlakes34) December 4, 2022
Jalen Pitre picking off Deshaun Watson is the best moment of the Houston Texans 2022 season so far and I don't think it's even remotely close.
— John Crumpler (@JohnHCrumpler) December 4, 2022
Deshaun Watson returning to Houston for his very first game back is peak WWE writing.
— Skinny Hardaway (@Skinny_Unscrptd) December 4, 2022
The Browns next face the Cincinnati Bengals this coming Sunday.