Watson had missed the first 11 games of the 2022 season while serving a suspension for violating the league's personal-conduct policy.
Under the terms of the settlement reached between the league and the NFLPA following an appeal of Watson's initial six-game suspension after accusations by more than 20 woman of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions, Watson had not been permitted to practice until the week of Nov. 14. Watson previously was permitted to participate in on-site rehab with the medical staff, meet with non-football staff, attend meetings and meet individually with certain coaches beginning on Oct. 10.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed to reporters on Monday that Watson would start their Week 13 game and Jacoby Brissett would return to a backup role. Cleveland also waived backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs on Monday.
"I think Deshaun has the support of his teammates, has the support of this organization," Stefanski said. "Right now his focus, my focus is on this Houston game."
Sunday will mark Watson's first regular-season game since the finale of the the 2020 season when he played for the Texans. Watson requested a trade weeks after the end of the 2020 campaign. He did not play at all during the 2021 season under an agreement with the Texans and after no trade materialized during that season.
Watson has reached confidential settlement agreements in more than 20 of the civil lawsuits against him. Watson was never charged with a crime, and two grand juries in Texas declined to indict him.