Impact IF Josh Gordon Plays This Year


The narrative that Josh Gordon could end of playing this year has gotten stronger as the weekend begins. Many believe that the NFL and NFLPA will come to some agreement soon, even possibly today, on their new HGH, performance enhancement and recreational drug use policy. As a part of that policy speculation is that Wes Welker, Josh Gordon and others will be allowed to play earlier than currently set to. It will not impact tomorrow’s games but could be in place for Week 2. So what impact would Gordon have if he is allowed to play this season? Lets take a quick peak:


Fans have been very vocal that they believe that the Cleveland Browns should have drafted a receiver, even before the Gordon suspension news was released on the second day of the draft. Those same fans believe that the team did not do enough in free agency to help the team’s passing game. That group of fans is a vocal, what seems like, majority. The return of Gordon would create excitement and hope for the fan base. Fans wouldn’t go into games expecting the worst and would come to games in full throat with the anticipation of a full arsenal on offense.

Passing Game

In the passing game the presence of a motivated, healthy Gordon is huge. Gordon takes a ton of attention from the defense as well as knocks other pass catchers down a peg in the offense. Miles Austin isn’t explosive enough as a #1 but runs crisp routes and has steady hands to be a solid #2. Andrew Hawkins is too small and limited, to some extent, to be a true #2 but would excel as the #3, slot guy. Jordan Cameron, as a tight end without any weapons outside of him, could get bottled up all season. With Gordon he gets a new lease on life as the #2 priority for defenses in the passing game. Running backs will also get more room on screens and on dump offs with so much attention looking towards #12.

Running Game

The running game also benefits. With Gordon taking the top off the defense the opposing team cannot bring safeties in the box for fear of him deep. That will give the Browns running backs less 8 man boxes to run against. Gordon is also a sizeable receiver who can provide blocks on the outside that the smaller Browns receivers are unable to. That could turn a 10 yard run into a 50 yard run quickly.

Brian Hoyer

Gordon gives Hoyer a safety valve. Last year, when in doubt, Browns QBs just forced the ball to Gordon. With his speed, size and reach, Gordon made plays on the ball to either catch them or make sure they were not picked off. Having Gordon gives Hoyer 2 or 3 deep bombs that he can feel comfortable will either be caught or fall to the ground. Hoyer’s confidence level on 3rd and long, or even on 1st down pass plays would go up. A confident quarterback is a steady quarterback.

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Josh Gordon is getting yet another chance, this time with the XFL
Josh Gordon is getting yet another chance, this time with the XFL /

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  • Johnny Manziel

    With Gordon, Manziel isn’t likely to see the field as quickly as the team would be more successful. Gordon’s presence would also take some of the spotlight off of Johnny Football sitting on the sideline. Long term Gordon gives Manziel a receiver who can change the game and help him develop quickly.


    The Browns are currently planning on relying on their defense and strong run game to make the team successful. With Gordon the defense doesn’t have to feel the pressure to be perfect. Instead of trying to make the big play, and sometimes missing, the Browns defense can play solid fundamentally sound game. Without Gordon the defense may not have confidence the offense can score and therefore try to make things happen.


    Finally the narrative of the team would be different. Instead of focused on what the Browns can’t do, having Gordon would help focus on what the team could be. Narrative isn’t important on the field, except sometimes with referees but in the media and with the fans narrative can be very important.


    Josh Gordon playing this year would have a positive influence throughout the team. It isn’t yet something that is even 50/50 chance but if it does come down the pipe could be a huge boon for everything Brown and Orange in Cleveland.

    Where do you think the biggest impact Gordon could have is?