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Josh Gordon on return: 'I feel free when I'm out there'

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Playing his first game in nearly three years, Josh Gordon looked right at home -- and then some.

Using his massive frame, game-breaking speed and considerable hand strength, the Browns wideout put up 85 yards off four catches in a 19-10 loss to the Chargers on the road.

The box score could have been bigger -- by a bunch -- had Gordon seen more accurate arm action from rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, but chalk it up as a sensational debut for the 26-year-old pass catcher who hadn't seen the field since Dec. 21, 2014, due to a slew of team and league suspensions.

"I feel free when I'm out there," Gordon said, per The Plain Dealer. "My business is out there, people know what I'm about and that's a great feeling."

Said Gordon: "It was fun. It was exciting to be out there and blessed to have the opportunity to get back to work."

Gordon spent much of the day facing Casey Hayward, getting the best of the talented Chargers cornerback on an impressive 28-yard grab on Cleveland's solo touchdown drive. Gordon also hauled in a 39-yarder and had safety Adrian Phillips beaten on a deep strike that was vastly underthrown by Kizer.

"With time, I will understand the way he wants the ball," Kizer said of his 11 targets to Gordon. "The opportunities were that if he was separating from a corner and when I need to throw back shoulder. Today was a good test of understanding how many times to get it to him. Once again putting the ball into the position where he can make a play."

The only other wideout to top Gordon's 85 yards against the Bolts this season was Odell Beckham. The concept that Gordon pulled this off after three years in the wilderness is mind-boggling.

"This is just a start for Josh," said coach Hue Jackson. "It's practice time, it's time on task, time with the quarterbacks, time within the system and keep going from there."

Jackson went out of his way to say that Gordon "looked like he belonged," but that's an understatement. The same abilities that made him a league-leading receiver in 2013 remain intact four seasons later.

The winless Browns have a long, long way to go, but with Gordon on the field, they possess a legitimate star who, on Sunday, didn't skip a beat.

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