With Gordon (suspension) having been released from an inpatient treatment facility, the wideout is a candidate to be dealt in advance of Tuesday's NFL trade deadline, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
The report notes, however, that Gordon remains subject to the reinstatement process outlined by the NFL's substance abuse policy, so it remains unclear if/when he might be deemed eligible by the league to play again. In any case, it seems clear that the 25-year-old wideout is not part of the Browns' plans.
As hinted by head coach Hue Jackson, the team no longer has any plans for Gordon, who will enter an in-patient rehab facility instead of returning from his suspension in Week 5. It's unclear how long Gordon will stay in the facility and when/if he plans to play again this season, but he should eventually draw interest around the league, unless he failed a drug test -- in which case he'd likely be suspended yet again.
Coach Hue Jackson indicated Friday that the Browns organization is prepared to move on without Gordon, at least for now, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. "I think what's best for our football team is that we move forward and move on,'' Jackson noted in reference to Gordon, who has elected to enter an in-patient rehab facility rather than return to action once his NFL-mandated suspension is set to elapse after Week 4. "He's not going to be with us and we wish him well, but we're moving forward. We're going to move on."
While the team has not closed the door completely on the wideout potentially resuming his career with the Browns down the road, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal puts forth the plausible notion that the talented but often-suspended Gordon "isn't expected to play for the Browns ever again." Terrelle Pryor and Andrew Hawkins are currently listed as the team's starting wideouts, with Corey Coleman sidelined by a hand injury, with Pryor -- who had a breakout game in Week 3 -- now in line to continue to serve as the team's top option at the position, at least until Coleman returns.
Gordon, who remains suspended by the NFL through Week 4 for violations of the league's substance abuse policies, released a statement Thursday relaying his decision to "enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility," ESPN.com reports. "After careful thought and deep consideration I've decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and my football career to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility," Gordon said in the statement.
Meanwhile, Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown noted in a statement of his own, that Gordon's "singular focus must be on his own health. We want nothing more than for Josh to be successful personally and professionally and will not comment on his status with the organization at this time." The wideout's return to the playing field is thus on hold, with no timetable outlined for when he might rejoin the Browns. Heading in Week 4, Terrelle Pryor and Andrew Hawkins are listed as the team's starting wideouts, with Corey Coleman sidelined by a hand injury. Gordon's continued absence, coupled with Coleman's injury, extends the window in which Pryor profiles as the team's top option at the position.
Gordon (suspension) nabbed three of his six targets for 29 yards during Thursday's preseason game versus the Bears.
Gordon, who looked liked his former self throughout the preseason, will have to wait until Week 5 against New England before he's allowed back on the field. He worked with the second team Thursday in order to get some final reps in before his suspension kicks in on Saturday. If he can keep up his rapport with Robert Griffin when he gets back, he'll be a welcome addition to a receiving corp that's already flush with talent.
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