John Dorsey, Browns mum on Josh Gordon’s status

Team respecting Gordon's privacy, declined to say if suspension looms

Daryl Ruiter
July 25, 2018 - 2:10 pm
Browns receiver Josh Gordon catches a football during a May 2018 practice

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – It doesn't sound like Josh Gordon will be on the field in Berea anytime soon.

That was the No. 1 takeaway from Wednesday afternoon’s pre-training camp press conference with general manager John Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson.

Earlier this week Gordon released a statement in which he announced that he would not report to camp on time as “a part of my overall health and treatment plan” but has “every intention of being ready and available to join my teammates soon to help bring winning football to our fans.”

When that will be remains the million-dollar question.

Nothing that Dorsey or Jackson said Wednesday shed much light on Gordon's situation.

“I respect what Josh is doing, so therefore, what I’m going to do is respect his privacy, and that’s what I’m going to do,” Dorsey said. “I know this. For where he is, I think he’s doing good.”

Dorsey and Jackson expressed their unwavering support for Gordon, who has played in just 10 games dating back to the start of the 2014 season and was conditionally reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last November following a lengthly suspension as a result of multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policies. All all, Gordon has served 56 games in suspensions - 55 for substance abuse violations. 

"Josh is 100 percent committed to the Cleveland Browns. The Cleveland Browns are 100 percent committed to him," Dorsey said. "He’s had a great offseason. He’s had great training. So you know what, let’s just see what happens here. Let’s see how this thing… let’s see what happens. All I care about is let’s respect his privacy. Let’s see him move forward."

Coming into the season Jackson had hoped new offensive coordinator Todd Haley could build the passing game around Gordon and Jarvis Landry, acquired from Miami in March. Those plans are now on hold and how much Gordon can even be in their plans going forward is unknown.

"Obviously we’d like to have all of our players here, but at the same time we know things do come up. And I think as a staff we prepared for anything and everything," Jackson said. "I think in my going on three years here I’ve seen it all. So, I’m not surprised by anything that can happen. I think if we make it more than what it is… again, you’re talking about a young man that’s doing everything he can to put himself in the best position to be better in his life. And I think that’s great for Josh.

"At the same time, we have a football team to get ready, and that’s what we’re going to do. All we can really worry about are the guys that are here and coach the guys that are here and get them better and when Josh is ready to return he’ll return."

Part of that process includes moving Corey Coleman, picked 15th overall in the 2016 draft, into Gordons spot. Coleman has missed 15 games in his first 2 seasons due to broken bones in his hand and has also had maturity issues off the field, including being sent home last October from Houston for missing curfew. 

"We have a guy who's here that's heading into year three that needs to go out and play well," Jackson said. "So we'll stick Corey over there and we'll keep going." 

Dorsey revealed on Wednesday that he has moved Gordon from the ‘non-football illness reserve’ list to the ‘did not report’ list, which frees up a roster spot for the Browns.

While such a move is simply procedural, Cleveland already had a roster spot available with the news that receiver Ricardo Louis will miss the season after undergoing neck surgery to correct an injury suffered late last season that did not heal well this offseason, so the fact Dorsey felt the need to create another one is somewhat alarming.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told 92.3 The Fan earlier this week that Gordon has not been suspended by the league, but they “will address the matter at the appropriate time. There’s no timetable.”

Dorsey declined to answer specific questions regarding Gordon’s status in the league’s view, including whether another suspension awaits when Gordon returns to the team.

"I'm going to respect Josh's privacy and I will continue to say that and let him do what he has to do moving forward," Dorsey said. "Then, when he comes back, we'll embrace him, that's how we're going to do it."