Browns receiver Josh Gordon is not a starter for tonight’s third preseason game.
That suggests that the Browns do not expect Gordon to be successful in his ongoing fight against a looming yearlong suspension for violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy. Although no official word has been handed down about Gordon’s discipline, if the Browns expected to have him on the field in Week One of the regular season, he’d probably be in the starting lineup for Week Three of the preseason.
Teams usually like to have their starting units playing together in the third preseason game, and the Browns are no exception: One of the reasons that head coach Mike Pettine chose this week to anoint Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback over Johnny Manziel is that he wanted to have the decision made before the third preseason game. Tonight Hoyer’s top two receivers are Hawkins and Austin, and the Browns are planning for Hawkins and Austin to be their top two receivers when the regular season starts as well.