Josh Gordon played his first game in years a few weeks ago after serving a number of suspensions for substance abuse in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy, but he has been back on the field for the Cleveland Browns now for three weeks.
That hasn’t allowed the team to win any games, of course. They are still 0-14. But the former second-round draft pick and talented wide receiver is already looking ahead to being a part of wins for the organization in the near future.
In his three games back so far, Gordon has accumulated 12 receptions for 201 yards and a touchdown, with a couple of explosive plays under his belt. That is already the seventh-most receptions and receiving yards on the team, and only three players have more than one touchdown reception.
But he says he’s not concerned about numbers so much as he is winning games. “I’m hopeful for a win more than anything”, he told reporters recently. “That is my first and main, truly only priority right now is a W. I couldn’t care less about individual things at this point because honestly, one favors the other. If one happens then the other one happens. If it is not my personal or individual victory, it is somebody else’s and that is awesome”.
He is also trying to be there for his rookie quarterback, DeShone Kizer, which at times seems is more than can be said for the rest of the organization, including head coach Hue Jackson. When he named the second-rounder his starter, he vowed to stick with him through thick and thin.
There has been an awful lot of thin—or thick, whichever is the bad one—for the 21-year-old through his first season in the NFL, but they haven’t really had his back. They have benched him a number of times, and have even talked openly about how that has affected his confidence.
But the Browns have not exactly surrounded him with talent, either. Outside of Corey Coleman, who has not exactly proven to be worthy of his first-round status from a year ago, and rookie tight end David Njoku, their offense doesn’t have a whole lot to be worried about. Which is why he needs Gordon, and the third-year wide receiver knows it.
“I definitely try to take advantage of whatever situation I’m in to try to help DeShone see something as quick as possible or just go all out and try to make sure that I get something done and make something happen”, he said.
Not that defenses have been making it easy for them, according to Jackson, who said that he believes defenses have been singling him out and providing an extra defender on him on roughly 60 percent of the routes that he has run.