Josh Gordon is a talented NFL wide receiver. Gordon also has plenty of issues off of the football field. Is there reason for concern moving forward now that Gordon has announced his return to the Cleveland Browns?
“There is a chance,” head coach Hue Jackson said on a conference call Saturday afternoon. “Obviously, we are just going to take it one step at a time. His focus is going to be on meetings and conditioning, and then we will just kind of go from there. Hopefully, we can get him up and running by the first game.”
We've placed WR Josh Gordon on active/non-football illness list and signed TE Stephen Baggett
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 18, 2018
Gordon left the team just days before training camp began in July. He has not played a full NFL season since his rookie year of 2012. Failed drug tests health and family issues are reasons his football career has slowed. Those concerns should always be in the back of the minds of the organization. Can Gordon erase those doubts?
“I never lost trust in him that way,” Jackson said. “Obviously, he was doing something to make himself better and put himself in a better place, which I think is very important. The health part for him is really important. I do get that and respect that. At the same time, I think what is very important is that he continues to do the things that the organization has set forth and that the football team has set forth. I think that Josh understands that and I think that he is willing to do that. That will happen over time. In time, I think it will show exactly where he is.”
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— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) August 18, 2018
When Gordon returned late last season, it was his first action in three years. At one point during his tenure as head coach, Jackson basically gave up on Gordon. Has there been a change of heart and will Gordon be here to stay now?
“I am confident that he is here,” Jackson said. “I think that is the most important part. How long he stays, only Josh knows that, but I think he is in a much better place. I think we feel very good about where he is. I think all those things, as you guys know, are always fluid. That is always a concern, but at the same time, we are here to support, help and try to create the right environments for Josh.”
Gordon can attend meetings and be in attendance during practice. He can not participate in practice as of now. Will that change by the time the regular season rolls around?
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) August 18, 2018
“I think that we are going to take it day by day,” Jackson said. “I do not think that there is any timetable that is set or anything like that. We have not been around him in quite a while. I think that he needs to be back with his teammates and we have to see how that all unfolds, back around the coaches and just getting him back integrated into our system and into how we go about doing things here every day and getting him back to playing football. I think that is the most important piece of this.”
Scott Piker is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Browns. So follow him on twitter @ScottPikerSport