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Done for the year
August 27, 2014 - Mike McLain
CLEVELAND -- Browns coach Mike Pettine gave away a hint earlier this week.
The hint became factual Wednesday when the Browns were informed by the National Football League that receiver Josh Gordon's appeal of a one-year suspension was upheld by an arbitrator.Gordon was given the suspension after failing a league-mandated drug test a third time, the latest violation being for marijuana.
Pettine said during a conference call last Sunday that the news didn't appear favorable for Gordon. On Monday he said that he probably gave away too much information a day earlier, which was a tip that the team knew what was coming later in the week.
Gordon's legal team hoped to convince the arbitrator that Gordon's positive test was a result of inhaling second-hand smoke. Gordon's lawyer, Maurice Suh, argued that one of the sample bottle used to test Gordon's urine was below the allowable level. Another test bottle was slightly above the limit.
Losing Gordon is a huge blow for an offense that lacks playmakers. Miles Austin, Nate Burleson and Andrew Hawkins were signed in the offseason, but none of the three can compare to Gordon, who led the NFL in receiving yards last season despite playing in 14 games (he was suspended the first two weeks because of a second failed drug test).
The news now places even more of a spotlight on rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel. Pettine has talked about the possibility of using Manziel in a supporting role to starting quarterback Brian Hoyer. That is more of a probability today.
Without Gordon's playmaking skills, the offense appears doomed to low point productions. The only playmaker on the roster is Manziel, who can do much more with his legs than can Hoyer.
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