Browns receiver Josh Gordon chats with receivers coach Adam Henry during a practice on Aug. 19, 2018

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

Josh Gordon’s presence at practice felt, as a spectator

Jarvis Landry expects Gordon to be ready Sept. 9 against the Steelers

August 20, 2018
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Daryl Ruiter-Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – It didn’t take long to feel Josh Gordon’s presence on the practice field Sunday, and all he did was stand around.

Gordon chatted with teammates, jumped on the exercise bike for a few minutes, shook hands with Hall of Famer Jim Brown, spoke with general manager John Dorsey and even stopped to sign autographs for fans before heading in for the day.

Such is Gordon’s life with the Browns for now.

“There are some things that we want to see him want to do before I stick him out there,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “We are to trying to just get him back with his teammates, acclimating him back to the facility with his team and get him in condition. I need to make sure that this young man is in shape before I ever stick him back out that. I think that I owe that to him, to the football team and to the organization.”

Gordon will remain on the non-football injury list until he is cleared, likely by the team and league following a complete evaluation of him mentally and medically, but for now, he remains a spectator until that happens. There is no timetable for Gordon to be cleared. 

The challenge for the Browns going forward will be keeping him on the field once he does get there.

“I think the most important thing is let’s get him back in our building, let’s make sure everything is working great away from football, let’s make sure he gets in great shape and then let’s put him out there and go from there,” Jackson said.

Gordon’s latest absence ended with 3 weeks to go before the season opener and the question being asked is, can Gordon be expected to be ready Week 1, Sept. 9 against the Steelers?

On Saturday Jackson said it is possible and Sunday receiver Jarvis Landry agreed.

“Yeah, I mean why not? He’s been training this whole time, so we expect him to be ready,” Landry said. “I’m sure he will be, but at the end of the day, we’re just happy to have him back.”

Gordon hasn’t played a full season since his rookie year and his battle with addiction has been well documented over the last 11 months. Since being selected by the Browns in the 2012 supplemental draft, Gordon has been suspended for more games – 56 – then he has played – 40. 

Rookie receiver Damion Ratley, a sixth-round pick in April, is glad to see No. 12 again.

“It’s lovely, him being back,” Ratley said. “Adds another vet to the room, like another coach for us. Just having him back it stops people from…just the outside atmosphere of ‘When’s Josh coming back.’ So he’s back now and he’s ready to play.”

When Gordon does return to action, the Browns are hoping for, if not expecting, big things to happen.

“He’s a monster,” Ratley said. “He’s big, he’s fast, he’s physical, he’s got hands, you know, everything. He’s an all-around athlete.”

Gordon led the league in receiving yardage in 2013 despite playing in 14 games.

How long ago was that? Landry was a junior at LSU back then.

“But it’s a part of his story, it’s a part of his journey,” Landry said. “That’s what makes him even that greater, seeing how it turns out, and I’m here obviously to support him through any and everything, but obviously, man, the ability that he has is unquestioned.”

Landry is excited about the thought of having Gordon in the mix because of the problems the receivers will be able to create for oposing defenses.

"He's a playmaker, he's a guy that's going to give us the ability to do a lot of things," Landry said. "I'm excited to play with him. I'm excited to work with him, compete with him, and that's what's going to help us get to the level that we need to be at to win games."

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley has already asked Landry to take rookie Antonio Callaway under his wing following the traffic stop and marijuana citation on Aug. 5 and with Gordon back too, Landry is willing to do whatever is asked of him from a leadership perspective.

“Whatever it takes for us all to be on the same page,” Landry said. “At the end of the day we’re in this together and we want to win games. So, whatever it takes I’m on board for it.

“I’m here for him at all times, and he knows that.”