It’s been 20 days since the Josh Gordon appeal hearing ended. While no ruling has been issued, the Browns are bracing for something bad.
Gordon didn’t play on Saturday night against the Rams, five days after playing into the fourth quarter against Washington. On Sunday, coach Mike Pettine said he wasn’t sending a message to Gordon, who at times seemed lackadaisical and disinterested on Monday night.
“Knowing that there is — the decision is looming that we’re fairly certain that we’re not going to have him for at minimum some part of the year so we wanted to make sure we were getting repetitions with the guys that are going to be out there early,” Pettine told reporters, via 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. “It wasn’t anything from a punishment standpoint or anything like that. It was just common sense.”
As written, the substance-abuse policy contemplates either no suspension or a full-year ban, with no middle ground other than something that would be negotiated by and between the NFL and the NFLPA. While no negotiations have occurred on a potential settlement, those discussions could start at any time, especially if hearing officer Harold Henderson chooses to twist some arms toward an agreement that would avoid the necessity of forcing Gordon out of football for 365 days.