Hue Jackson on Josh Gordon’s confessions: He still has to earn the right to be here

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During an interview with Sports Illustrated, Josh Gordon confessed a criminal past that included armed robbery, grand theft auto, counterfeiting, selling drugs and gang shootouts. Needless to say, the Browns admitted concerns about the revelations and have addressed them with Gordon.

“Obviously, he understands that the antennas are up everywhere, and they should be,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He has to do the work to make sure that those things are in his past.”

Gordon, suspended 54 of the team’s past 59 games, will make his first appearance since 2014 when he takes the field against the Chargers on Sunday. Gordon’s return, Jackson reminded, remains contingent on the wide receiver meeting the terms and conditions of his aftercare program.

“The biggest thing is he still has to earn the right to be here,” Jackson said. “He earned the right to get back here. He has to earn the right to be here each and every day. He’s been outstanding thus far here. Again, all of the things talked about were past behaviors.”

It’s the second story Gordon has opened up about his sordid past, confessing to GQ magazine he smoked or drank before every game in college and the pros. He bore his soul to SI about his extensive criminal past and gang activity.

“I said this a long time ago,” Jackson said, “I think there’s a cleansing that people go through in these situations. . . . I don’t think there’s anything great about that. That’s a tough article, but I think that’s behind him and we are going to move on.”

Gordon assured the Browns he did no other interviews before his conditional reinstatement by the league, and going forward, he will focus on his future and football.