BEREA, Ohio -- Following the Cleveland Browns’ on-field workout Monday morning, a humble, contrite
Shortly after the Browns wrapped up their annual minicamp practices in June, the NFL offices announced that Gordon would miss the first two games of the 2013 regular season for a failed drug test.
“I definitely need to apologize to the team, Browns fans, the coaching staff, my family and friends,” Gordon said. “It’s hurt a lot of people. I’m dealing with it, but I’m definitely planning on moving on from it.
“My actions will speak out here on the field, regardless of who’s the coach or who’s working here. I’m still going to be in Cleveland. I’ve still got to show up and do my job every day.”
Gordon, who will still be able to participate in training camp and the preseason despite the suspension, accepted the punishment that came with the failed test, and is focused on improving for when he returns to the team in prior to the road game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept 22.
“I’m really looking forward to Week Three when I can come back and help contribute to the team,” Gordon said. “Until then, I’ll be out here every day, working out with the team in training camp, and help motivate these guys to get ready for the season.”
With their top pass-catcher out of the lineup for the first two weeks of the regular season, the Browns will rely on other players to fill the void left in the absence of the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Gordon.
“The nice thing about this team is we have guys that are going to step in and make plays,” quarterback
Coach Rob Chudzinski added, “I feel confident in the guys that we have, that we’ll find those guys who step up and guys that we haven’t seen much out there and some young guys that have potential. We’ll just work through that and Josh will get reps as well.”
Despite missing the entire offseason because he was a pick in the NFL Supplemental Draft and spending the early part of the 2012 season working his way back into football shape after missing a year of college football because of a transfer, Gordon emerged as the Browns’ downfield threat in the passing game.
Gordon started 13 of 16 games and caught 50 passes for 805 yards and five touchdowns. His catches and yards gained were the most ever by a player selected in the supplemental draft, and those five touchdowns were tied for second-most among NFL rookies in 2012.
“Obviously, Josh is disappointed in the situation,” Chudzinski said. “It’s important that Josh understands what my expectations are. I’ve talked to him about that. He understands accountability, and I expect him to work and do everything he can to be the very best player he can be in the meantime and we’ll go from there.”
Chudzinski’s message seemed to strike a chord with the second-year receiver.
“Accountability is a big issue, and I’m definitely planning for the future,” Gordon said. “We’re looking forward to the things we can do beyond this point. We can’t really sit back and just think about the past or what’s happened. We’re really looking forward to what we can do from here on out.
“I’ve got to cheer more for those first two weeks from a distance, but when I come back, despite personal goals or stats or anything like that, I definitely want wins for our team. That’s the most important thing. My priorities are definitely in order, definitely in line. I’ve still got a job to come out here and do every day. I’ve got to be accountable, be a grown man and help provide for me and my family.”