Sunday, September 24, 2023
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is feeling the sting of the NFL's disciplinary actions, as he's been fined $35,513 for a series of rule violations during a high-stakes Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the league confirmed in a statement released on Saturday.
Watson's missteps during the game included an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and two unnecessary roughness infractions. His actions, along with tight end David Njoku's, came into the spotlight when they celebrated a third-quarter touchdown with a machine gun-firing gesture, for which they were each fined $13,659 for the unsportsmanlike act.
In addition to the celebratory antics, Watson received fines of $10,927 for two separate unnecessary roughness penalties, both involving facemask violations. The infractions occurred in the third and fourth quarters of the game.
During the first facemask incident, Watson engaged in a heated exchange with an official, raising concerns about potential contact. However, the NFL clarified that the contact did not meet the criteria for additional punitive measures.
In response to the incident, the NFL issued a statement that read, "Officials are entrusted with maintaining order on the field, and while performing their duties, incidental contact between players and officials can occur. In this particular case, the contact was deemed insufficient to warrant a penalty."
Deshaun Watson, who signed a groundbreaking five-year, $250 million contract with the Browns in the previous year, expressed remorse for his actions, recognising that they fell short of the league's expectations for sportsmanship. "I take full accountability for my behavior on the field," Watson stated. "I must improve and serve as a positive role model for my team and our loyal fan base."
Despite Watson's efforts, the Browns were unable to secure a victory against the Steelers, who clinched a pivotal fourth-quarter touchdown to seal their win. With this defeat, the Browns now hold a 1-1 record for the season. They are eager to bounce back and regain their footing as they prepare to host the Tennessee Titans (1-1) in a crucial Sunday showdown.