After a rough offseason for the Cleveland Browns, heading into another rebuilding process, some good news came: Josh Gordon is reinstated, and although he’ll be suspended from the first four games of the season, for arguably the worst team in the NFL, this is excellent news.
Gordon, who didn’t play in 2015 because of violation of league substance abuse policy was also suspended for most of the 2014 season for a DUI arrest. Since being drafted in 2012, the 25-year old has only 35 games under his belt, although he’s been very impressive when he has played, averaging 117.6 yards per game in 2013, a Pro Bowl and All-Pro year for the wide receiver, who played for Baylor during his college years.
Gordon will be suspended for the first four games of the season, but he is eligible to play for the Browns in the preseason and be with the team during his suspension, becoming eligible to play in week 5, when the Browns face the New England Patriots. That also happens to be the game Tom Brady makes his return in. Brady won’t be able to be with the Patriots during his suspension, and players suspended for PEDs can’t be with the team as well. However, there is some leeway when it comes to substance abuse.
Gordon will have to continue with his treatment plan in order to be allowed to be back. In the meantime, he can start on working to impress new head coach Hue Jackson, and starting to connect with Robert Griffin III, who also played for Baylor along with Gordon. Gary Barnidge, a tight end, was the top receiver last season for the Browns, and he remains with the team, while Travis Benjamin has left to the San Diego Padres. The Browns used their first round pick on Corey Coleman, another Baylor standout at wide receiver, and overall picked four wide receivers in the first five rounds. Unless he’s really out of shape or doesn’t get along with Jackson, Gordon should find himself as the #1 option on the team pretty quickly.