Thursday, August 21, 2014
Josh Gordon anxious about in-limbo appeal
By Jim Trotter
BEREA, Ohio -- It's 17 days and counting with no ruling on Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon's appeal of a year-long suspension for violating the league's drug policy, and the silence is getting to the Pro Bowler.
"It's human nature," coach Mike Pettine said. "It's definitely weighing on him. He, like all of us, wants to know and wants to get on with this and move forward. Just being in limbo for so long can be draining. He made the comment the other day that the football field is where he feels most at home, so it's important to him."
Pettine was left to speak for Gordon because the third-year pro hasn't talked with the media since May, when the possible suspension was first reported. Gordon's representatives argued that Gordon was the victim of second-hand smoke, pointing out that one test came back positive while another was negative.
The uncertainty of Gordon's future appeared to affect him in Monday's loss at Washington. He looked lethargic and appeared to be out of the game mentally, though when talking later with Pettine, he did not mention the possible discipline as a cause for his play.
"We discussed what happened in the game and he's responded," Pettine said. "He's had some good practices. But I just think, like with all of us, it's only natural that he's frustrated."
The league has given no timetable for announcing its decision, though the collective bargaining agreement states that appeals are to be decided in a "reasonable time". As a precautionary measure -- and to better prepare other players in the event that discipline is imposed -- the Browns are expected to limit Gordon's work with the first team in Saturday night's exhibition against the visiting Rams.
Gordon's absence during the season would significantly impact the Browns' offense after he led the league in receiving last year with 1,646 yards.