Jackson: 'A chance' Josh Gordon will be available Wk 1


Josh Gordon isn't out of the water just yet.

The Browns announced Saturday that the veteran wide receiver is returning to the team after missing training camp to handle personal issues. Placed on the active/non-football illness list, Gordon can now attend meetings and practices but cannot participate until he passes the next phase of the process per the NFL's substance abuse program, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.

While NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy has said there is no timetable for Gordon to return to on-field action, coach Hue Jackson is already eyeing the Sept. 9 season opener versus the Steelers.

"There's a chance," Jackson said Saturday, via the Plain Dealer. "Obviously, we're just going to take it one step at a time. His focus is going to be on meetings and conditioning, and then we'll just kind of go from there. Hopefully, we can get him up and running by the first game."

Gordon recently finished a treatment program at the University of Florida. Suspended for 56 of a possible 96 games since entering the league as a second-round supplemental draft pick in 2012, he must "earn the right to be back out there," Jackson emphasized.

"We're going to take it day by day," Jackson added. "We've not been around him in quite a while. He needs to be back with his teammates and we have to see how that all unfolds, back around the coaches and just getting him back integrated into our system and into how we go about doing things here every day and getting him back to playing football."

In his absence over the past month, rookie Antonio Callaway has been running as the first-team "X" receiver alongside offseason acquisition Jarvis Landry.

Gordon flashed playmaking potential down the stretch last season, hauling in 18 catches for 335 yards and a touchdown in five December games. Once he gets up to speed and earns the green light to return to on-field action, it shouldn't take long to prove that he's the most talented receiver on the roster.

Once Gordon does join Landry and Callaway for game action, the Browns will boast a wide-receiver trio that offers more potential than any they've had in the woebegone Jackson era.