Josh Gordon left little room for doubt Wednesday when he was asked how he felt entering his first season opener since 2012.
“I told you I would be 100 percent,” Gordon said to a group of reporters inside Cleveland’s locker room. “I feel 100 percent today and I will be 100 percent Sunday.”
The Browns just don’t plan to use Gordon 100 percent of the time against the Steelers.
The talented, Pro Bowl wide receiver won’t start and will be on a pitch count of sorts, Browns coach Hue Jackson said. Gordon missed nearly a month of training camp while he was on a leave of absence and only started practicing at full capacity Monday because of a minor hamstring injury.
Gordon was officially listed as a limited participant at Wednesday’s practice.
“I do not think that Josh is going to play the whole game,” Jackson said. “He has not played in a preseason game. He has been in practice. I do not know how many plays a guy can play that has not done as much as everybody else. We will see as we go.
“My concern is if we give him too much, we might be leaving him out there for potential injury. Then all of a sudden, we do not have him for a while. We have to make sure that we monitor that, as well.”
The Browns practice leading up to their Week 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When Gordon returned last season from a nearly three-year absence, he recorded four catches for 85 yards on 11 targets in a Week 13 loss to the Chargers. He ultimately finished the season with 18 catches for 335 yards, a good chunk of which came in the season finale against the Steelers.
Gordon said his implementation into this year’s Browns offense, a group led by former Steelers coordinator Todd Haley, should be smoother because of the experience he gained in OTAs and minicamp.
“I am going as much as they tell me to go. If they tell me to sit out for a period, I do as I am told. It is just great being in the atmosphere,” Gordon said. “Fortunately, I know the plays already so it is really good to take the mental reps and physical reps as much as I can do. I try to take advantage of it.
“I think the biggest piece of it is making sure I am locked in and know what I am trying to do as an individual, as a player and as a teammate going forward.”
Even a little bit of Gordon could go a long way for the Browns, who will be gunning for their first season-opening win since 2004 and their first win over the Steelers since 2014.
“He can have a huge impact if he plays the way that we know he can,” Jackson said. “The guy can run and catch and jump, and do all of those things. We anticipate him having an impact on the football game. What that is going to be, it will show itself on Sunday.”