Gordon (suspension) suffered a quad injury this summer and won't be able to practice for at least a couple weeks, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
Gordon was conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Monday, allowing him to participate in training camp as he prepares to start the season with a four-game suspension. The Browns then announced that they will give the star wideout another shot, setting him up for a long-awaited return in Week 5, assuming he avoids any off-field issues in the meantime. However, Monday's plethora of good news was hindered a bit Tuesday, as the 25-year-old wideout has apparently been recovering from a quad injury that was previously unreported. While details weren't provided, initial reports suggest the quad is a major concern, with Gordon expected to miss "at least a couple weeks" at the start of training camp. Even if the injury doesn't threaten his Week 5 availability, it's worrisome that Gordon may miss a good chunk of camp (and possibly the preseason), as he already faces the tough task of returning from a 22-month layoff between NFL games, rejoining a Browns team that looks nothing at all like the version he last played for. Gordon will start camp on the Non-Football Injury list.
Head of football operations Sashi Brown relayed Monday that the Browns plan to give Gordon a chance to redeem himself with the franchise, now that the NFL has reinstated the wideout on a conditional basis, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
In a statement posted on the team's official site, Brown noted, "with the league's decision to afford Josh the opportunity to resume his career, he will be with us for the start of training camp. At that time, we will discuss directly with Josh the direction of our team, our expectations of our players and a plan to support him on and off the field." While the talented 25-year-old wideout has plenty to prove after being away from game action for so long, if he is able to meet the off-field expectations of the Browns, it looks like he'll have an opportunity, as soon as Week 5 of the 2016 season, to contribute to the team's offense in some capacity. How much of an impact he'd be ready to make -- and how quick that might happen after his four-game suspension ends -- remains to be seen, but Gordon's fantasy upside is obviously intriguing, in the event that things continue to move forward for him in a positive direction.
NFL.com relays that Gordon -- who had been suspended indefinitely since February of 2015 -- is in line to be conditionally reinstated by the league, with the report adding that the wideout will face a four-game suspension to start the upcoming season.
Moreover, the report notes that Gordon will be able to take part in the Browns' upcoming training camp. Given that the reinstatement is described as conditional, Gordon must avoid any off-field issues in the meantime, but based on the four-game length of his pending sanction, he would be eligible to return to the team as of Monday, Oct 3. The Browns take on the Patriots at home in Week 5, the very game that is slated to mark the return to action of New England QB Tom Brady. It remains to be seen what the Browns have in store for Gordon, both in the short-term and come Week 5, but the 25-year-old pass catcher -- who last played in an NFL game back in December of 2014 -- has the talent to re-emerge as a fantasy factor in 2016, while giving the Browns a dangerous pass-catching option at wideout opposite highly-touted rookie Corey Coleman.
Gordon, who has been suspended by the NFL for violating the league's substance-abuse policy since Feb. 3, 2015, is eligible to re-apply for reinstatement on Aug. 1, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
As part of the process toward the wideout's potential reinstatement, Gordon met in person with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in New York on Wednesday. While having a chance to meet with Goodell face-to-face would appear to represent a step in the right direction, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport relays that he gets the sense that "nothing is imminent on (Gordon's) return." Meanwhile, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that the recent meeting doesn't "necessarily mean (Gordon will) get the green light shortly after Aug. 1." At this stage, the wideout's 2016 availability remains murky, with no concrete change in his status possible until after he applies for reinstatement. Ideally, from a fantasy perspective, some sort of timetable for a decision on that front will emerge sooner rather than later, though ESPN's Dan Graziano speculates that a call on Gordon's status may not be likely before the start of the coming season.
Previously suspended by the NFL for two games in 2013, 10 games in 2014 and then the entire 2015 season, Gordon was denied reinstatement in April amidst reports of a failed drug test due to a diluted sample that also contained traces of marijuana. His repeated violations of the NFL's substance-abuse policy might make it a tough sell when he's eligible to apply for reinstatement again on Aug. 1, but Gordon does at least have a few factors working in his favor, namely that his latest failed drug test actually came up short of the league's required threshold for a marijuana sample. He's also passed dozens of drug tests since entering the league, and he hasn't had any reported legal issues since entering rehab in the aftermath of a July 2014 DWI. Although the Browns have made it clear they aren't banking on Gordon's presence for 2016, the franchise's new regime might be willing to give him a shot if the NFL signs off on it. Even if things eventually work out in his favor, Gordon could miss games at the beginning of the season, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell often takes weeks (or even months) to decide such matters. In the meantime, Gordon still can't participate in team activities.
|P1||8/12/16||@ GB||8:00 pm|
|P3||8/26/16||@ TB||8:00 pm|
|1||9/11/16||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|3||9/25/16||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|4||10/2/16||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|6||10/16/16||@ TEN||1:00 pm|
|7||10/23/16||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|10||11/10/16||@ BAL||8:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 13|
|15||12/18/16||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|17||1/1/17||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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