BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns are confident they will know by the time players report to training camp in late July if all-pro wide receiver Josh Gordon will be allowed to play this season.
Gordon is facing a lengthy suspension, perhaps as long as one calendar year, for repeated violations of the NFL's drug policy. He did not participate in the final two days of the team's mandatory minicamp because of what head coach Mike Pettine described as a "minor ding" suffered on Tuesday, when Gordon had his hamstring worked on by trainers early in practice.
News of Gordon's possible suspension broke via ESPN on May 9, the second day of the draft. But the league has made no announcement regarding his status for 2014. The Browns finished their mandatory minicamp on Thursday. Players will report for training camp July 25, by which time Pettine said he's hopeful the Gordon question will be resolved.
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"We haven't been given a date. I think in fairness to us, the league would let us know between then," Pettine said Thursday. "There's no information as for what their plans are to release it, but I think we're all comfortable thinking we should know before training camp starts."
Gordon served a two-game suspension last season, then went on to lead the NFL in receiving yards (1,646) while posting 87 catches and nine touchdowns in 14 games.
It's no wonder the Browns are anxiously awaiting the NFL's ruling. A No. 1 receiver, especially one as gifted as Gordon, is difficult to replace.
The Browns did not draft a wide receiver last month but signed veterans Earl Bennett and Miles Austin. They also added several undrafted rookies, with Kenny Shaw and Chandler Jones both shining during minicamp. Slot receiver Andrew Hawkins and veteran Nate Burleson signed in March.
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