The Cleveland Browns activated wide receiver Josh Gordon this week, making him eligible to play Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. To make roster space, they waived defensive back Justin Currie.
Gordon isn’t just coming off the couch to play the part and stand on the sidelines, either, he’s going to start in his first NFL game since December 2014.
“Am I comfortable saying that? Heck yeah. Are you kidding me? Yeah, he is going to start. Right away,” head coach Hue Jackson said following Gordon’s activation.
The question then becomes how effective Gordon can be in his first game back. He has the talent, we all know that, but having missed so many games has to have an affect on his conditioning and general feel for the game.
“Let it rip. Pitch count? With this guy? No, it has been what? Three years? I want three years of that pitch count back out there right now,” Jackson joked.
Jackson also doesn’t seem worried about Gordon’s conditioning or ability to acclimate to his team’s offensive game plan, because Gordon appears to be doing all the right things in practice.
He did a great job in the conditioning piece of it once they let him back in the building and we did some things from a script standpoint with him. He has been right on all week. Now, it is the game – the anxiety of playing the game, first game back, playing the Chargers in Los Angeles. Now he has to couple all of that with remembering what to do, how to do it and where to line up. There is a lot of stuff that he has to work himself through, but I think he is up to the challenge.
There are a lot of variables this week, including DeShone Kizer’s play and the Chargers stingy pass defense and pass rush, but things appear to be aligning for Gordon’s new chapter to begin with a flash.
And the winless Browns couldn’t be more thankful for his return.