Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon Gives Ravens Another Super-Talented Test


This week, the Ravens defensive backs are tasked with rebounding from the performance Steelers wideout Antonio Brown had against them on Sunday Night Football.

There's nothing better to help turn the page than another big challenge coming down the pike.

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is nothing like Brown. Gordon's 6-foot-3, 225 pounds while Brown is 5-10, 181, and they play the game differently.

What they have in common, however, is that they're both super-talented. The Ravens will be on high alert this Sunday in Cleveland.

"[Gordon is] an explosive weapon," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "You put an explosive weapon like that in a [Browns Head Coach] Hue Jackson offense, it can be catastrophic for a defense."

After three years away from the NFL because of suspensions, Gordon was reinstated by Commissioner Roger Goodell on Nov. 1 and returned to the field two weeks ago.

He immediately stepped in as a starter and has caught seven passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. He made an impressive 18-yard leaping touchdown grab last week against the Green Bay Packers for his first touchdown in nearly four years.

"It's definitely crazy how he's been able to not play for three years, and then comes out going against [Casey] Hayward and the Chargers, making plays like that," rookie cornerback Marlon Humphrey said. "When a guy can do that, he probably hasn't even shown how really good he can be again."

When Gordon has been on the field, his talent has been undeniable. He put up 805 receiving yards as a rookie in 2012, then followed it up by leading the league with 1,646 yards in 2013, despite missing two games.

Gordon's downfall has been a longstanding drug problem, which he says he's moved past during rehabilitation and his time away from the game. Safety Eric Weddle said he's spoken with Gordon several times when they've run into each other.

"It's pretty amazing, pretty awesome for him," Weddle said. "To come back and get his life back, we just hope he continues that because he's such a great kid. … Hopefully we keep him in check, obviously, but shoot, what a great story."

The Ravens are fresh off Brown's 213 receiving yards and Ben Roethlisberger's 506 passing yards. Gordon doesn't have Big Ben throwing to him, but Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer has also improved since the last time the Ravens saw him in Week 2.

Baltimore clearly wasn't going to tip its hand on how it plans to cover Gordon. The Browns also have other talented receiving weapons in second-year wideout Corey Coleman, rookie tight end David Njoku and running back Duke Johnson.

"We have our hands full, but we're excited for a big horse [Gordon] to guard this week," said veteran cornerback Brandon Carr, who had a particularly tough night in Pittsburgh.

"Everybody has a bad day. You have to shake it off because the biggest thing is how you respond. The next day is important for us to get the yucky feeling out. Sundays come fast; you can't afford to harp on a loss or a bad game."

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