Hey, remember that Josh Gordon guy from a few years back? The guy who briefly took the NFL by storm and vaulted himself into first-team All-Pro recognition in his second season before he badly derailed his career due to foolishness off the field? He’s back, and it looks like he can still play a bit.
Gordon is, of course, the Cleveland Browns’ second-round pick from the 2012 Supplemental Draft. He had a successful rookie campaign that year, but he exploded in productivity a year later, leading the league in receiving yardage with over 1600, including an incredible three-game stretch, one of which was against the Steelers.
Since then, his career has gone off the rails, though it finally appears to be being redirected back in the right direction. Gordon was hit with a 10-game suspension in 2014 due to a violation of the substance abuse policy, because of his marijuana use.
He followed that up with yet another suspension, this time because he was found to have diluted his drug test samples, which resulted in an indefinite suspension this time around. The suspension was to last roughly a calendar year before he was eligible to apply for reinstatement.
It took him a while, but he finally received his reinstatement over the past month, but not without stipulations. Gordon is still going to serve a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season, which will bring his games missed due to suspension total up to an impressive 30 games over the last three years.
The talented wide receiver actually returned to the Browns on the Non-Football Injury List, but it wasn’t long before he was able to return to practice, and last night was his first taste of game action in quite a long time, since the 2014 season. And it tasted good.
He only caught two passes during the game, but both went for big plays. The first one was a deep pass own the right sideline for a 44-yard connection from quarterback Robert Griffin III. It came on the third play of the Browns’ opening drive, on a third and long situation.
The Browns’ starting offense got a pretty long burn, playing all the way through the first half, and that proved to be just one of two connections during the game between Griffin and his new target, Gordon. Once again, down the right sideline, it was Gordon making the reception for a 43-yard gain and a touchdown. The pass hung up short, and the receiver came back for it, fighting into the end zone.
Of course, he also pushed off a bit on that reception, in all honesty. But overall, Gordon looked like somebody who is going to be able to contribute to this Browns offense when he does return to them after four weeks. He offers a big-play threat in an offense that needs one.