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Brian Hoyer on Josh Gordon: 'He's a freak'

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer has spent the season throwing to a cast of wideouts clearly absent of a No. 1 threat. That changes Sunday in Atlanta with the return of Josh Gordon.

Hoyer liked what he saw during Gordon's first practice with the team on Wednesday since serving his 10-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Gordon told NFL Media's Nate Burleson that he plans to "tear this league up," but is he game ready?

"Athletically, no one is going to question Josh Gordon," Hoyer said Wednesday, per The Plain Dealer. "He's a freak, but I think as far as this game, it's not basketball. You don't just go out and shoot hoops. There are plays. It's a team game. He has to be able to show that he can do that, and I thought it was a good first step today."

We don't expect to see the gaudy numbers that Gordon put up last year in Norv Turner's pass-heavy scheme. As Hoyer pointed out, "in Norv's offense, there was an emphasis on getting the ball downfield and that type of thing."

After last year's Browns passed the ball more than anyone in the league, we asked over the summer if Cleveland might lead the NFL in rushes under Kyle Shanahan. They're second after Week 11, an approach we don't expect the Browns to scrap.

Still, after Hoyer found Gordon 14 times for 217 yards in just two full starts last season, he acknowledged: "If I'm (in a) pinch, I'm going to try and throw him the ball."

As we mentioned on NFL NOW, Gordon's return should help both Cleveland's ground game and Hoyer's NFL-worst 55.7 completion percentage. More importantly for the team, adding a star player to this up-and-down offense looms as a juicy X-factor in an AFC North playoff race that promises to go down to the end of the season.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps the Raiders' shocking win over the Chiefs and previews every other Week 12 game. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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