BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Josh Gordon got in some practice time before returning to plead his case to the NFL.
Cleveland’s Pro Bowl wide receiver took part in the team’s workout Monday and then left practice early to participate in his appeal hearing with the league by telephone.
Gordon’s hearing resumed Monday at the league’s offices in New York. Gordon and his legal team met with an arbitrator for nearly 10 hours on Friday, arguing against a potential one-year suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Gordon’s lawyer, Maurice Suh, is contending that the 23-year-old failed a test for marijuana because of secondhand smoke.
Gordon missed two days of practice last week and Saturday’s scrimmage in Akron. The Browns offense isn’t the same without him and Cleveland’s players were excited to see him back on the field.
“It’s always special to have Josh out there,” cornerback Joe Haden said. “When Josh is out there, it’s like LeBron came back. He’s a big, big part of our offense and a really, really special player.”
Despite being suspended two games last season and playing with three quarterbacks, Gordon still led the league with 1,646 yards receiving.
The Browns are eager to find out whether they’ll have Gordon at all this season, and they’re not sure if the delay in his case is an encouraging sign.
Until they hear differently, the Browns are just happy to have No. 12 in uniform.
“I just like seeing him on the field,” wide receiver Nate Burleson said. “There are certain guys that the league needs to have on the field and he’s one of them. He’s one of the more premiere talents in the NFL, so I hope that he’s in a Browns jersey this year.”