In truth, it was much more recent than that -- 2013 -- but the starry Browns receiver has been a ghost since then, playing in just a handful of games the following season before serving a league-imposed ban that wiped out all of 2015.
Back on the field and preparing for his first preseason game -- which could come Thursday against the Falcons -- Gordon stressed Monday that he's entirely capable of repeating his feats from three campaigns ago, saying: "I'm confident in my abilities. I know what I can do."
Gordon practiced for the first time Monday after suffering a quad injury prior to training camp. Bottom line, the wideout showed up out of shape, but his teammates have welcomed him back to the fold.
"It feels like home," Gordon said, adding, per the team's official website: "Every day that I'm back means a lot to me. I'm glad to be out there with my brothers, put my helmet back on and get back in the swing of things."
At 25, Gordon still has time to make good on his incredible potential. We've been here before, though, with the enigmatic pass-catcher saying all the right things, only to vanish again under the haze of NFL discipline. This time, we need to see it on the field.