Even though Gordon has been out of football for almost three years he's only 26, and won't turn 27 until next April. "I think he is in really good shape". I had not had a lot exposure to him, other than what I knew. I had to first educate myself and what he was going through and what he was dealing with.
Suspended for the past two seasons, the Cleveland Browns' wide receiver went through his first regular-season practice since December 26, 2014, a significant moment in the comeback of one of the league's most dynamic players from alcohol and marijuana issues.
"I get to open a new toy", Jackson said Monday after Gordon had worked with quarterbacks on the field for the first time since his conditional reinstatement November 1. "Josh is a different talent and his teammates see that". "That's exciting", Jackson said. Four days before he was to resume practice the Monday before the fourth game of the season to resume playing in the fifth game, Gordon walked away from the Browns to check into a rehab clinic. "The guy is ultimate talent".
"You can just see there is a different spirit at practice", he said.
"I don't think it is important to go back and revisit any of that", Jackson said. I know every chance I get to be around him, he was on our sideline yesterday and it was a treat just dialoguing with him, the things he saw, the ways he thinks he can help.
The Browns are the only National Football League team Gordon has known, being drafted by the team in the Supplemental Draft after a collegiate career at Baylor and Utah.
Gordon returned to the Browns on November 7 and he is eligible to be activated next Monday and play Sunday, Dec. 3 at Los Angeles against the Chargers.
Gordon rejoined the team November 7 after Commissioner Roger Goodell approved his reinstatement request from an indefinite suspension for repeated violations of the league's substance abuse policy. "I think we all recognized that and appreciate that". "But he's entitled to be a man and make his decisions and do the right thing, and we truly believe and support that he will". He still has to earn that from his teammates, from the coaches, from the fans and from you (media).
Jackson can't wait. Gordon led the league with 1,646 yards receiving in 2013 when he scored nine touchdowns, and if he's close to being the same kind of player, he'll give the Browns an offensive weapon as potent as any in the game. "He is in a lot better place now and a lot better place to have people assist him through this process".