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Browns get Josh Gordon, other key players back on field just in time for Steelers week

The Browns were back to nearly full strength for the start of Steelers week.

Wide receiver Josh Gordon led a group of players who had previously been sidelined by injuries. Rookie linebacker Genard Avery, safety Damarious Randall and tight end Seth DeValve were active during a Monday practice that lasted just over an hour, but left players and coaches, alike, drenched in sweat from the early September heat wave.

"Good to get everybody here and out on the grass," said Browns coach Hue Jackson, who led his first team practice in nearly a week. "Not what I want, that is what I told them. We have to keep going. We do not really hit at all until Wednesday, but it was a good extra day for our guys. A lot of work. We just have to keep getting better."

Linebacker James Burgess (concussion) and defensive back E.J. Gaines (knee) remained on the sidelines.

Gordon, who recently re-joined the team after a month-long leave of absence, had been sidelined by a minor hamstring injury. The talented wide receiver is set to make his first season-opening appearance with the Browns since his rookie year in 2012.

"It is good just to have him back out there with his guys, running around and catching balls," Jackson said. "He did what we asked him to do today, which is good. He is right on schedule with where I think he should be by the time that we get ready to play."

Jackson held firm that Gordon would not start against the Steelers. Rookie Antonio Callaway is poised to do so across the field from veteran Jarvis Landry.

"Josh has to earn that back," Jackson said. "I do not think that I have ever just given anybody anything. He gets it. That is not a problem at all. I think that he understands that. At the same time, Josh is just getting back out here, too. Let's bring Josh along the right way so that we can have him here for 16 games this season."

DeValve missed most of training camp and the entire preseason with a quadriceps injury. The Browns ultimately kept four tight ends on their 53-man roster, with Orson Charles providing some insurance in the wake of DeValve's absence and fullback Danny Vitale's calf injury. The Browns do not currently have a fullback on the active roster.

Randall was a late scratch for the Browns' dress rehearsal preseason game against the Eagles. The fourth-year safety received a second opinion on his knee injury Tuesday but was active Monday.

Avery, who came on strong during the preseason as a situational pass rusher, injured his hip against the Eagles. He recorded a sack and a forced fumble during his preseason action.