The drama of the Cleveland Browns 2014 season continues as Josh Gordon makes his appearance as the Cleveland Browns (6-4 and at the bottom of their division) face the Atlanta Falcons (4-6 and leading their division). Go Figure. While some Browns fans are in doubt about Gordon’s return (and whether he can stay out of trouble) most feel that he has learned his lesson and is ready to rejoin the team as a valuable member.
Last year, in spite of a two game suspension for marijuana use, Gordon still managed to catch 10 passes for 146 yards on his first game back as the Cleveland Browns defeated the Minnesota Vikings. Last season he went on to 1,646 yards and ten touchdowns. That was with only a two game suspension. This year follows ten weeks without practicing with the team (although he did participate during the entire pre-season). Coach Pettine wants to let common sense prevail by keeping Josh on a “pitch count” during practice and slowly bringing him up to speed.
“There needs to be a progression,” Pettine said. “”The trap to fall into is, ‘Hey, he’s back and let’s just go ahead and throw him out there for a bunch of plays.’ There’s certainly danger inherent in doing that and we have to be smart with how we do it.”
As for the distractions concerning his one year changed to ten game suspensions and the rule changes concerning marijuana the Pro-Bowler said, “The only thing I can control is what I do on the field. So that’s what I’m doing. I can’t control the masses. That’s not my job. It’s great to be back. I’m very ready. I’ve had a long time to get ready for it.”
Concerning his repentance for his actions, Josh said, “There’s a lot of people I feel I owe. My family members, friends, people that felt more embarrassed about it. The people closest to me feel it harder than anybody and I feel as though I owe them as well as the Browns, but I’d like to do that by performing well.”
As for Brian Hoyer’s thoughts on Gordon’s return “Being out there with him today you can see he’s excited to be out there,” said Hoyer, who targeted Gordon 19 times in the game against the Vikings last season. “He wants to be a part of the team.”
So only time will tell on how this saga unfolds. The AFC North division is still anyone’s ballgame and every game now becomes a must win. With the injuries mounting up (as is typical at this point of the season but seemingly more so this year)Josh Gordon’s return could not come at a better time.
“I just want to control what I can control, and that’s playing my hardest and working my hardest, 16 weeks next season and these last six games this season, however long I’m in Cleveland,” he said. “That’s just what I want to do.”
In other news it was reported this past Tuesday that the Cleveland Browns have waived running back Ben Tate. The announcement was made by general manager Ray Farmer in which he said, “With all the transactions we make while constructing our roster, it will always be our intent to do what is best for our football team,” said Farmer. “This move is no different and we wish Ben the best going forward.”
Over the course of the season, Tate averaged 3.1 yards per carry scoring four touchdowns but with Terrance West and Isiah Crowell combining for 766 yards and eight touchdowns the move comes as no surprise to most. The move also clears the way for Glenn Winston (who has served on the special teams since being called up) to show what he can do in moving the ball.
Next Sunday the Browns face the Atlanta Falcons with game time set for 1 p.m. Go Browns!