As the NFL continues to investigate the sexual assault and sexual misconduct civil lawsuits filed against embattled Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Pro Bowl selection and NFL passing yardage leader from last season remains eligible to play and not on a commissioner-exempt list.
The NFL hasn't been given access to talk with several plaintiffs in the 22 active civil lawsuits filed by Tony Buzbee and the Houston Police Department hasn't completed its investigation, according to sources. Watson and his attorney, Rusty Hardin, on Watson's behalf have denied wrongdoing. Hardin said that there are currently 10 complaints filed with the HPD against Watson. No charges have been filed.
In a statement, the NFL indicated that the investigation, which is led by former Manhattan, N.Y., sex crimes prosecutor Lisa Friel, that the investigation is ongoing and no decision on potential discipline has been made at this time.
Watson, who has made a standing trade request, reported for training camp to avoid daily $50,000 fines.
"The NFL’s review of the serious allegations against Deshaun Watson remains ongoing and active," the league said in a statement. "We are working cooperatively with the Houston Police Department and ensuring that the NFL’s inquiry does not interfere with their investigation. As we continue to gather additional information and monitor law enforcement developments, we will make appropriate decisions consistent with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Personal Conduct Policy.
At this time, there are no restrictions on Watson’s participation in club activities."
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.