Watson returns to practice with Texans after almost a week

Sports

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) works out with the quarterbacks during NFL football practice Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)

HOUSTON (AP) — Deshaun Watson returned to practice with the Houston Texans on Monday after not taking part in workouts for almost a week.

Watson reported to camp on time and was on the field for the team’s first five days of practice, participating in individual drills only. When the players wore pads for the first time this season last Tuesday, he did not participate and was not on the field.

He continued to be absent from practice until Monday when he trotted onto the field with the rest of the team. He only worked during individual drills and went into the indoor practice facility after the first five periods of work. He returned to the field near the end of the two-hour practice and watched as his teammates went through 11-on-11 work.

Coach David Culley refused to say why Watson stopped practicing with the team last week, and he wasn’t available to answer questions regarding his return Monday because he spoke before practice.

Watson’s future is uncertain after he asked for a trade in January before 22 women filed lawsuits alleging that he sexually assaulted or harassed them in March. Houston police and the NFL are investigating the allegations, but no charges have been filed.

Watson still wishes to be traded and reported to training camp solely to avoid being fined. He would have faced fines of $50,000 a day if he didn’t report.

Watson signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension with the Texans last offseason and led the NFL in yards passing last season. But he became unhappy with the direction of the team and requested a trade in January after the Texans, who won the AFC South in 2018 and ’19, sank to 4-12 last season.

General manager Nick Caserio signed veteran Tyrod Taylor to a one-year deal in March to give the team an insurance policy at quarterback if Watson can’t or won’t play this season. The Texans selected Stanford’s Davis Mills in the third round of this year’s draft, and he and Jeff Driskel, a recent free-agent signee, will likely compete to back up Taylor if Watson isn’t an option.

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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