Hue Jackson: Josh Gordon practicing is ‘like Christmas’

Jul 31, 2016; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon signs autographs for fans following practice at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, OH. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns haven’t had much to get excited about this year and are just three games away from being the worst team in NFL history over a two-year stretch. However, in the middle of the team’s darkest hour, a sliver of hope exists for a brighter future in the form of Josh Gordon returning to practice this week.

Gordon was practicing with the quarterbacks on Monday and is scheduled to be a full participant in Wednesday’s team practice — a development head coach Hue Jackson is extremely excited about.

“It’s like Christmas,” said Jackson, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I get to open a new toy. I know what’s in that box, but I just want to see how good it is. It’s exciting that he’ll be back out there.”

The league reinstated Gordon recently, and he says he’s completely clean and sober after spending most of his young adult life in a haze of drugs and alcohol. He won’t have another chance to get back into the league if he slips up again, and Cleveland is doing everything it can to provide him with the best chance to succeed.

“Josh knows that we’re always available to him,” said Jackson. “He’s entitled to be a man and make his decisions and do the right thing. We truly believe and support that he will. He’s done everything we have asked him to do thus far. He’s working extremely hard. He’s excited about being back and having the opportunity.

“I know that every chance I get to be with him – he was on our sideline yesterday, and it was a treat. Just dialoging with him and the things he saw. The ways he thinks he can help. To me, that was exciting. He’s doing well, and hopefully, that will continue.”

Obviously Gordon would represent a huge upgrade to Cleveland’s receiving corps, if he can get back to the form we saw back in 2013 when he led the league in receiving with 1,646 yards and caught nine touchdowns. Since then, however, he’s spent far more time on the NFL’s suspended list than he has at team facilities, missing 54 of the Browns’ last 57 games.