BEREA,Ohio--Josh Gordon has been here before.
But this time, he says it will be different.
After Thursday's final preseason game with the Bears, Gordon will start a four game suspension imposed from the NFL beginning Saturday as part of the conditions for his reinstatement to the NFL after missing last season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Gordon said playing against Tampa Bay and catching two long passes, including a 43-yard touchdown pass gave him all the more reason to work through the upcoming suspension.
"It definitely did send a spark to me and help me remember some things,” Gordon said Tuesday before practice. “Have that sense of nostalgia of, this is where I belong, this is where I need to be, this stage was meant for me to play on. That’s what I’m meant to do.
“Just doing it consistently and being here for this team, that’s really where it starts at and that’s what I want to do.”
The Browns are hoping so as Gordon has been suspended for 27 of the last 32 games the Browns have played in the last two seasons and soon to be 31 of 36 games. He is eligible to play Oct. 9 against the Patriots. Ironically, when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is set to make his return after a four-game suspension for his role in 'Deflate-gate'.
One major difference this time is that Gordon is permitted to be at the Browns facility and attend meetings during the hiatus, but he cannot practice or play in games.
Gordon shared his plans during the suspension.
“My plan is to get a bunch of work here at practice today – yesterday, we had a good day – and go into (the Bears) game strong, take away from it as much as I can possibly mentally, retain as much information as I can," Gordon said. "I know going into the regular season, I’ll be here with the team working out with our training staff, make sure I stay in shape and am able to be at the point to pick up where I left off from this last preseason game. Hopefully, the transition is very smooth for me.”
Gordon really seems to be excited that he will be able to be in Berea with the team, unlike his previous suspensions when he was off on his own.
“It is great," he said. "It is really a great opportunity. Specifically just for having the access to the facility, being around the people, still being able to go to meetings and interact with your teammates, still pick up on the knowledge and installations for the gameplan definitely helps as opposed to being out. You are kind of just in the wind with it. Staying in shape, that’s a major key. I’m definitely grateful for that, definitely.”