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Browns WR Josh Gordon to start Sunday vs. Chargers

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The Cleveland Browns won't slow-play Josh Gordon's return.

Coach Hue Jackson said Thursday the receiver will start in his first game since December 21, 2014 when the Browns visit the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. He was officially placed on the active roster Thursday after being taken off the Commissioner Exempt List.

"Are you kidding me? Yeah, he's going to start," Jackson said.

The coach noted that Gordon, who was conditionally reinstated on Nov. 1, has enough of a grasp of the playbook to run with the first-team in his debut. Gordon began practicing on Nov. 20.

Gordon missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons due to suspension for repeated violation of the league's substance abuse policy. The receiver voluntarily checked himself into rehab in 2016 after participating in the Browns training camp and preseason.

The 6-foot-3 athletic freak led NFL in receiving in 2013 with 1,646 yards despite playing only 14 games. In his first two NFL seasons, Gordon earned 2,451 receiving yards, fourth-most by any player in his first two seasons since the 1970 merger (behind only Odell Beckham Jr., Randy Moss, and Jerry Rice).

"There's a question mark on it, but I know I expect to do something positive," Gordon told reporters, per ESPN.com.

Gordon's presence should immediately open the offense for quarterback DeShone Kizer, who has played his best games of the season since the Week 9 bye.

Gordon and Corey Coleman on the field at the same time gives Kizer two playmaking weapons on the outside that can win one-on-one battles. Finally boasting a legit No. 1 and No. 2 threat will help the Browns better evaluate their quarterback heading into the offseason.

With tilts versus the Chargers, Packers, Ravens, Bears, and Steelers on tap to close the season, Gordon could help an infantile offense snag its first win of the season in the final month.

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