More than 20 women accused Watson of sexual assault, and Watson stated he was "really sorry.

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His six-game regular-season suspension had been justified in part by his lack of remorse.

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Deshaun Watson made his return to football on Friday night after a 19-month hiatus.

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The Cleveland Browns quarterback performed another act prior to the game that had been anticipated for almost as long.

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For the first time since more than two dozen women accused him of sexually assaulting or harassing them during massage appointments, he expressed regret.

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An official from the league was still debating whether Watson would be eligible for the upcoming regular season as he entered the field at Jacksonville's TIAA Bank Field to the boos of the tiny audience.

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He was suspended last week for six games by a third-party disciplinary officer, a decision the N.F.L. quickly appealed, pushing for a stricter ban for multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy.

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The day before both the game and Watson’s apology, The Associated Press reported that Watson would be willing to accept an eight-game suspension and a $5 million fine, after his representatives initially argued for no missed time.

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“I want to say that I am truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation,” Watson said in an interview with the Browns broadcast team.

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