Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon rests during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Berea, Ohio. ASSOCIATED PRESS
CLEVELAND — On the eve of their final exhibition game, the Browns had denial turn into reality.
They won’t have star wide receiver Josh Gordon at all this season, and it’s time to figure out how they’re going to replace all he gives them.
Gordon’s indefinite suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy was upheld on today, leaving the Browns (0-3) without their top playmaker. That’s devastating for Cleveland’s offense, which has struggled during the preseason and enters Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Bears looking to gain some confidence.
Gordon released the following statement on his suspension, via the NFLPA:
"I'd like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans. I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn't exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff."
Quarterback Brian Hoyer will start and is expected to play most of the first quarter as Cleveland’s first-team offense tries to get its act together.
The Bears (2-1) are hoping for a better performance on defense after being routed 34-6 by the Super Bowl champion Seahawks last week.