On Saturday, it will have been 1,000 days since Josh Gordon’s last NFL game.
The Cleveland Browns wide receiver has been in stasis since that four-catch, 45-yard performance four days prior to Christmas Day in 2014, suspended by his team the following week and multiple times by the league.
So much time has passed – the Browns have started eight different QBs and nine different receivers since then – that it’s hard to believe Gordon is still only 26 years old. And yet he has spent more time in NFL purgatory (46 games worth of suspensions) than he has to date on the field (35 games).
Yet he’s still a member of the Browns. They’ve kept him under contract and remain hopeful, even after having his latest attempt to reenter the NFL this spring denied, that Gordon can turn his life around and play football for them again.
The bottom line: He appeared to be a generational talent. The Browns, winners of four of their past 34 games since Gordon last suited up, need playmakers.
This is a player who had more yards (498) in back-to-back games as a 22-year-old second-year player in 2013 than all but 65 players did in that entire season. His four-game total from Weeks 11 to 14 that season: 774 yards, which only 38 other players topped in all of 2013.
But the trouble that lurked in college at Baylor and forced him to transfer to Utah, reemerged that year. His NFL suspension came after missing the first two games of that season when he violated the league’s substance-abuse policy. An arrest for DUI the following July was followed by a yearlong…
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