Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will start against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in his first game back from suspension, coach Hue Jackson said on Thursday.
Gordon has not played in an NFL game since Dec. 21, 2014. He was suspended for the past two seasons, and began practicing with the team Nov. 22.
“Heck yeah, are you kidding me?” Jackson said with a laugh. “Yeah, he’s going to start – right away. I’m kind of surprised you’d ask. You have to play your good players, right?”
Sunday marks the first game Gordon is eligible to play since being reinstated from the Commissioner’s Exempt List. Jackson said Gordon will not be on a limited snap count against the Chargers.
“Let it rip,” said Jackson. “Pitch count? With this guy? No, it has been what … three years? I want three years of that pitch count back out there right now. No, he’s done a good job this week. He’s worked extremely hard. I think he’s excited about playing. It’ll be a big day for him. Again, I don’t want to make it too big at the same time.
“Like we said, he hasn’t played in three years. It’s still going to be a little different for him, I don’t care what anybody says, but we have to transition him through that and help him through it. I think he’ll go play well, though.”
Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards while playing in 14 games in 2013. He was suspended two games that season and 11 the next. It will be 1,077 days between regular-season games.
He made a few one-handed receptions in practice Thursday, and said he can’t wait to get on the field vs. the Chargers.
“I’m as excited as ever,” he said. “I can do everything that’s within my power to do/ Anything that I’ve done before and anything that I haven’t done, hopefully I can achieve it really. The sky’s the limit. I feel I’m in great shape and if I can just help out there and try to make a play and try to put us in position to win so it’s a question mark on it, but I know that I expect to do something positive. I know that much.”