The Ravens haven’t faced Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon since 2013, but that could change next season. Gordon, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on February 3, 2015, has applied for reinstatement according to ESPN. The NFL has 60 days after receiving Gordon’s application for reinstatement to decide his fate.
A superb talent, Gordon has been unable to keep off-field issues from derailing his career. In 2013, Gordon was one of the league’s top receivers with 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in just 14 games. However, Gordon only played five games in 2014 and was suspended after failing an alcohol test. Alcohol testing was one of the conditions for Gordon’s reinstatement following a DWI arrest in 2014. Gordon did not play at all in 2015.
At his press conference while being introduced as the new Browns’ head coach, Hue Jackson was asked about Gordon.
“What I’m anxious to do is evaluate him just like we’re going to evaluate every player on our roster and see if they are the right fit for the Cleveland Browns,” Jackson said. “That’s what we have to do with every player, whether that’s Josh Gordon to whoever the last guy is on the roster.”
Jackson has already said he would rather move on from quarterback Johnny Manziel, who has suffered through two controversy-filled seasons with the Browns. However, moving on from Gordon would be a tougher decision. He’s a gifted player and still only 24 years old, capable of having many splendid seasons if he ever straightens out his personal life.
How Gordon’s saga plays out will be interesting. The Ravens are hoping to get a major lift next season from wide receiver Breshad Perriman, who missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury. If Gordon returns, the AFC North could have two young wide receivers back on the field making an impact.