For the Cleveland Browns Training Camp for the entire team starts tomorrow. The Josh Gordon saga, at least for this year, should come to an end a week later. Adam Schefter is reporting that Gordon’s appeal hearing is set for August 1st:
Likely a ruling could come out that afternoon, like the NFL tends to like to do around 4:50 PM. The longer the wait the possibility of good news for Gordon and the Browns increases. Based on the reported positive test and then later being pulled over for speeding, and the police officer smelling marijuana in the car and finding it on one of the passengers, all expectations are for a year suspension.
For the Browns this would be a hit to their receiving core, which could be outstanding with Gordon. Yet it seems like coach Mike Pettine is very prepared for this outcome as a statement in an ESPN Cleveland article shows:
Given our circumstances — some new pieces on the offensive line, new backfield, receiving corps will be potentially one of a committee approach — you want some cohesion.
Gordon on the squad wouldn’t require a committee approach.
For Gordon the best news would be some version of a suspension where he can be around the team, or the facilities. The worst part of the drug suspension, especially for recreational drugs, is that the team is not allowed to engage with the player at all. This would leave Gordon out on his own to deal with his issues. As a professional counselor I can officially tell you this is the worst case scenario. Left without structure, to be around the people you have known all your life and with a ton of free time will lead back to repeated behaviors. This is true for drugs, crime, video game playing, golfing, gambling and a whole host of other recreational activities.
Some are wondering how the NFL can suspend Ray Rice for only 2 games for assaulting his now wife but suspend Gordon for smoking marijuana. It will be an interesting PR storm for the NFL as those two suspension are held up next to each other.
We expect Gordon’s full year suspension. Lets hope in the delay that the NFL and the Browns have figured out how to help Gordon during that suspension.