The Browns and Josh Gordon are still awaiting word on how long the troubled wideout will be suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. However, regardless of the duration of that ban, Gordon’s spot on the roster appears safe, as head coach Mike Pettine tells Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
“We’re expecting him to report on Friday and be on the field,” Pettine said. “We have no plans to cut him. I know there’s been a lot of debate over that, but I don’t see us having that debate.”
Following Gordon’s DUI arrest earlier this month, a handful of NFL pundits and observers, including Hall of Fame wideout Cris Carter, suggested that waiving the Browns star could be in his best interests. Considering how well he performed last season though, racking up 1,646 receiving yards in just 14 games, it makes sense that the Browns would do everything they can to help Gordon and eventually make sure he gets back on the field for the franchise. For now, Cleveland doesn’t seem to have any plans to acquire another receiver to replace 2013’s yardage leader.
“I don’t think you replace Josh, a guy of his caliber,” Pettine said. “If you just look at what he did last year, he’s arguably one of the top three receivers in the league. You can easily make that argument. You’re not going to find somebody, so you just have to get creative in how you do it. We feel good about where Miles Austin is health-wise, we’re very pleased with how Andrew Hawkins came out of camp, and then Nate Burleson will be ready to go and then we have some guys we think will be ready to battle it out.”
Gordon’s appeal hearing on his pending suspension is expected to take place within the next week or two.