Browns receiver Josh Gordon is back at practice and closing in on a potential return to game action in only nine days, after a suspension under the substance-abuse policy that lasted nearly three years. So he was surely knocking off rust this week, right?
“None that I felt,” Gordon told reporters on Friday. “None that I was told about. I felt pretty good. I think I knocked that rust off prior to getting back into the building so that was what I was looking forward to do. I think I accomplished that. First day of practice with the team, I adjusted pretty quickly, being in shape and making it through.”
Gordon made it clear that he’s been able to make the adjustment because he’d worked hard during his absence.
“I have been training from almost a year straight prior to coming back so I have been working out pretty crazy,” Gordon said. “Even getting here, the strength and conditioning staff has been on top of it. They have exhausted every resource as far as recovery and things of that nature — massages, treatments and everything I need to do to stay on top of it. I have to make sure I do it. For the most part, I am in real good shape.”
Gordon’s adjustment was aided by the fact that he was practicing in Hue Jackson’s system last year, before his attempt at reinstatement became derailed.
“It has helped a great deal being here last training camp, offseason and preseason,” Gordon said. “It is all pretty familiar. Most of it is the same, a few different words and terminology, but it has come back to me pretty quickly. It does not take me too long to pick up on offense.”
Gordon hasn’t played much football since joining the team as a second-round pick in the supplemental draft in 2012. In 35 career games, however, he has 161 catches for 2,754 yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2013, Gordon racked up more than 1,600 receiving yards in 15 games.
If he can get back to that level of performance quickly, he could help the Browns eventually win a game or two in 2017.