Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson had a rough Monday. He could also have a rough Tuesday.
Watson committed not one but two egregious facemask errors in Pittsburgh, grabbing a pursuing defender in the cage and throwing him to the ground. As Chris Simms and I discussed on Tuesday PFT LiveWatson appeared to be frustrated — either by the fact that he can no longer run away from pursuing defenders, or by what opposing players are saying to him up close about his off-field issues, or both.
When has a player had two blatant facemask fouls in a game? When has a quarterback ever had one? It’s one of the original safety rules, dating back to long before the years when the NFL downplayed and denied the risk of concussions.
Even a minor grip and pull on a face mask is punished and fined. Watson took it to the next level, twice, throwing the players to the turf.
Then there was Watson’s push by an official during the scrum that broke out after his first facemask penalty. (And yes, it was a push.) Contact an official always requires ejection. That, along with everything else, could result in a suspension – in theory.
Would the NFL suspend a franchise quarterback (or at least a quarterback who is paid like one)? The officials could have looked the other way when he should have been thrown out. Will the powers be affected by his status and importance to his team and the game in the design of a penalty?
No matter what happens, someone has to calm him down. Something got under my skin last night and it stayed. Future opponents will surely try to copy that every single week until he shows it doesn’t frustrate him.