Pettine 'fairly certain' Josh Gordon will miss games

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Mike Pettine is preparing for life without Josh Gordon.

The Cleveland Browns coach told reporters Sunday that the organization anticipates the All-Pro wide receiver to be suspended for at least part of the upcoming season, which contributed to Gordon sitting out Saturday night's ugly 33-14 preseason loss to the St. Louis Rams.

"I wasn't sending a message," Pettine said on a conference call, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. "Knowing that the decision is looming, that we're fairly certain that we're not going to have him for at minimum some part of the year, we wanted to make sure that we were getting repetitions with the guys that were going to be out there early."

The league has taken its sweet time handing down a ruling on Gordon. Facing a potentially lengthy ban, the wideout hasn't been himself in game action, drawing criticism from Pettine last week after a lethargic showing against the Washington Redskins.

Still, one-third of Gordon is twice as nice as what the Browns showed at the position in Saturday's evisceration by the Rams. Quarterback Brian Hoyer displayed scant chemistry with this ragtag bunch, leaving Cleveland's passing game as a potential dead zone heading into Week 1.

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