Pump the brakes a little bit on the excitement of seeing WR Josh Gordon at Cleveland Browns training camp, because it might be a couple of weeks before fans can see him taking part in drills.
The team announced four injury-related roster moves today:
Active/Physically Unable to Perform List
The Browns placed TE Seth DeValve (hamstring) and CB Joe Haden (ankle) on the active/physically unable to perform list. Haden was expected to miss part of training camp as he recovers from ankle surgery, but has vowed that he’ll be ready for Week 1. DeValve had missed some time during the May OTAs due to an undisclosed injury, but I thought he had returned for other offseason programs after that.
Active/Non-Football Injury List
The Browns placed WR Josh Gordon (quad) and TE Connor Boffeli (knee/ankle) on the active/non-football injury list. Per the Browns, Gordon “injured his quadriceps while working out on his own this summer.” They added that he's expected to be out for “at least a couple of weeks while he recovers.”
All four players still count toward the team's 90-man roster. Here is why it is a benefit for the Browns to make the moves that they did: it gives them the flexibility to extend those designations part-way into the regular season, where they would not count toward the 53-man roster. Prior to the start of the regular season, if the player(s) are healthy enough to pass their physical, they can be activated immediately. If Cleveland had not placed the designations on the players at the start of training camp, then their only resort when final cuts are due would be to place them on injured reserve, or keep them on the 53-man roster while they are hurt.
According to Scott Petrak of the Chronicle-Telegram, TE Gary Barnidge passed his physical after having sports hernia surgery recently:
Good piece of injury news for #Browns. TE Gary Barnidge, who had hernia surgery in June, passed physical, ready to participate in camp.— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) July 26, 2016
Of note is the fact that DE Desmond Bryant was not placed on an injury list today, even though he’d seem like a likely candidate for the non-football injury list. That could be because of his projected recovery time and also the amendment made to the injured reserve/designated to return rule. In previous years, you had to declare which player the designation would be used on when they first went on IR. Now, you can wait until later in the season and, for example, pick one player out of five on IR who you feel is most ready to return, and activate them. Many feel that Bryant’s injury will cost him the season, but the event his rehab goes extremely well, that could be the route Cleveland is taking with him.