Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon might be on the field when Cleveland opens its regular season, but he won’t be a starter.
Head coach Hue Jackson said today that he has ruled out starting Gordon, who missed training camp because he needed to focus on his mental health and only recently returned to the team.
Of course, the distinction between “starting” and not can be fairly meaningless: It really just means Gordon won’t be on the field for the first play. It’s still possible that Gordon will be the Browns’ No. 1 receiver in the opener against the Steelers, that he’ll be on the field for more snaps than any other receiver and that he’ll get more passes thrown his way than any other receiver.
If he’s healthy both mentally and physically, Gordon is the Browns’ best wide receiver, and the Browns would be wise to use him that way. He might not start, but if he’s ready to play, it’s hard to believe the Browns won’t run their passing offense through him.