Cleveland Browns: Josh Gordon one step closer to on-field return

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: Josh Gordon /

Since Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon returned to the team after missing the beginning of training camp, there has not been an on-field return date for the wide receiver.

One week after announcing that he was returning to Cleveland Browns training camp, wide receiver Josh Gordon is another step closer to returning to the field for the brown and orange.

On Saturday, the Browns announced that they have activated Gordon from the non-football illness list to the active roster, and will begin doing with the walk-through’s with the team.

Since the Gordon saga began at the beginning of training camp, no one was certain as to when the talented 27-year-old wide receiver will be able to return to playing for the Browns, or even when he would be able to start practicing. But Saturday’s announcement begins Gordon’s return to game-action.

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Since Gordon is on thin ice with the league because of his substance issues in the past, there was an expectation that Gordon would have a lot of hurdles to jump through in order to hit the field again for the Browns.

But Gordon being placed on the active 90-man roster only week after his return to the team makes it seem like the league did not have a lot of say in keeping Gordon on the sidelines.

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson said on Friday that Gordon would be participating in the team’s walk throughs on Saturday, but the timeline was in question since Gordon was still not eligible to return to the practice field at the time.

The organization’s hope is that Gordon will be playing in the team’s regular season opener against the Steelers on September 9th. But they may want to see what kind of shape he is in and how ready he is to play over the next two weeks before they make an official decision on if he will be able to play on that date.

The sooner that the Browns can get Gordon back the better will be for the offense. On Thursday night against the Eagles, the first-team offense showed their lack of explosiveness in the passing game without Gordon, and the unit struggled for most of the time they were on the field.

Jarvis Landry was heavily targeted on Thursday, but the Browns quarterbacks were not featuring the other receivers as often. With Gordon on the field, it will help the other receivers find space to make plays and will the help quarterbacks to be able to spread the ball out more to receivers other than Landry.

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Time will tell how ready Gordon is to returning to the field. But with him participating in walk throughs on Saturday, he may see some action in the Browns’ final preseason game against the Lions on August 30th.