With Josh Gordon making a late appearance to the Cleveland Browns, his status for the final preseason game and the regular season opener have been in question.
The expectation was that Gordon would get some reps in the Browns’ final preseason game against the Lions on Thursday. Getting reps against the Lions would help the Browns coaching staff figure out how ready Gordon is ready to play.
But on Monday, Hue Jackson updated the status of Gordon, saying he will not play on Thursday. He also said Gordon will play in the regular season opener against the Steelers, but with one caveat.
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Jackson seems to be playing it very cautious with Gordon and not rush him back into things. Despite having decent depth at wide receiver, losing Gordon for an extended period of time because of rushing him back into things too quickly would be very detrimental to the team.
Not playing Gordon on Thursday seems to be taking a precautionary step as Gordon recovers after hurting his hamstring. Gordon was working with the trainers on the sidelines Monday, so he still must be hampered by his hamstring.
The interesting part of the update on Gordon is that not only will he not be starting against the Steelers, but they will have a “package of plays” for Gordon. Unless Jackson is just playing games with the Steelers as they begin to game plan for the Browns, it seems that Gordon will have a limited amount of snaps on September 9th.
Gordon showed last year that even after being gone from the team for a long time, he can still come back and contribute immediately. In this case, Gordon was not away from the team as long as he was last year, even working to build chemistry with his new quarterbacks throughout this past summer.
A lot of things can change from now until the Browns open the regular season. But currently, it is looking like Gordon will not have a huge role in the Browns’ first game of the regular season.