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'I have so much love for the city' | Deshaun Watson talks about starting Sunday against the Texans

Watson will start for the first time as a member of the Cleveland Browns Sunday in Houston.

HOUSTON — Deshaun Watson makes his Browns debut Sunday and he’ll do it against the Texans here in Houston (12 p.m. Sunday on KHOU 11) after his 11-game suspension over sexual misconduct accusations.

Watson spoke to the media Thursday for the first time since August 18.  He refused to answer any questions that weren't related to football, but he did talk about taking on the Texans and the City of Houston.

“I’m excited to play football in general, in front of Cleveland Browns’ fans, but also in front of Houston Texans fans,” Watson said. “I respect the whole organization of the Houston Texans. I respect the McNair family, everyone who was there that drafted me in 2017.  It’s been great memories, fun memories.  I still have a phone in Houston. I still have friends and family that’s still in Houston, relationships are still there. Some of the players on the team, I played with or saw come up from maybe practice squad or from injuries. I’m excited to get in front of all those fans. I have so much love for the city of Houston and H-Town.  Everyone in that city pretty much knows that.”  

Watson has been accused by more than two dozen women of harassment and assault during massage therapy sessions while he played for Houston. Some of those accusers will be in attendance for Sunday’s game, according to attorney Tony Buzbee.

Watson's return has been scheduled since August, when the 27-year-old accepted the lengthy suspension, a $5 million fine and agreed to undergo mandatory therapy and counseling after an independent arbitrator ruled he violated the league's personal conduct policy.

He was cleared last month to attend meetings and work out in the team's facility, and Watson has been practicing since Nov. 16.

The Texans drafted him in 2017 before he demanded a trade after four seasons and was eventually dealt to Cleveland in March.

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