CLEVELAND- After a wait that seemed eternal, Josh Gordon will start at receiver for the Browns. As many fans recall, Gordon has a troubling history with drugs which started at Baylor.
The dark cloud of addiction followed him to the NFL, prompting teams to pass on him during the draft. The NFL’s supplemental draft gave Josh Gordon the opportunity to start his career.
Tomorrow, Gordon can put the storm in the past and move on as Cleveland takes on the Los Angeles Chargers (5-6). The Browns are 0-11 and the loyal local fans need something to cheer for. The return and redemption of Gordon give fans a level of excitement and a feel good story.
The Chargers are a threat to win the AFC West as they are one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs. It will take a nearly perfect performance to achieve the upset win. Gordon could create matchup problems for the Chargers secondary with his athletic speed and strength.
Gordon worked out intensely the last two years and appears to be a mid-season strength. Will he perform at pro bowl level immediately or does he need acclimate to being on the field again? It could take Gordon two or three games to get back up to speed.
Regardless of how long it takes Gordon to get back producing at an elite level, the Browns need him as much as a desert survivor needs water. Cleveland is 24th in total passing yards with 3,412 this season. The Chargers are 12th in the NFL in passing yards with 3,928 yards. The New England Patriots are the top passing team with 4,532 yards this season.
The Browns will make it a close game since Gordon will have a strong performance in his return. Gordon will catch three passes for 75 yards and one touchdown.
Los Angeles Chargers 31 Cleveland 28