The Cleveland Browns expect a decision in the appeal of Josh Gordon's season-long (at minimum) ban for a failed drug test within the next two weeks. Gordon, you'll recall, was suspended indefinitely for failing a drug test (weed) for the third time. If the suspension is upheld, he can apply for reinstatement after one year. In the meantime, Browns head coach Mike Pettine said Cleveland won't be cutting Gordon. He is expected to report when training camp begins Friday.
Gordon was arrested and charged with DWI in Raleigh over the July 4th holiday weekend and since he was already appealing the suspension, this most recent misstep had everyone wondering what the Browns were going to do with him. It even prompted a war of words between Michael Irvin and Cris Carter.
Carter, drawing parallels between his own troubled time in Philadelphia and Gordon's issues, said the Browns should cut him and hopefully it would serve as a wake-up call like it did for him. Michael Irvin disagreed and said Carter's "ass is out of line.'' The only opinion lacking was an official one out of Cleveland, but now the Browns have spoken up and they are on Team Irvin.
Responded Pettine: "I think we need to find the middle ground of what's best for Josh and what's best for the organization. I know Cris Carter came out and said that, but we think you can find that middle ground of what's best for our players and best for the organization. It worked for Cris, but cutting Josh might be the worst thing for him and the worst thing for us.''
Pettine confirmed that the club has reached out to substance abuse professionals to try to help Gordon.
"If any of our players are in need of help, we'll do our best to provide it for them and also that we're going to do what we feel is best for the organization,'' he said. "By league guidelines, whatever help we can provide him, we're going to do it. A Cleveland Brown is a Cleveland Brown. If we feel we can help him, let's help him. Sometimes you're handcuffed by the situation, so until it plays out then there's really nothing tangible we can do at this point.''
Pettine said he hasn't talked to Gordon yet, but will do when he reports on Friday.
"He won't be the only one,'' Pettine said. "I have a list of guys I'll have a state of the union address with.''
Pettine seems to have the same loyalty streak his former boss has, even for players he's barely been around. Other players will notice that and hopefully Gordon does, too.
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