Josh Gordon’s yearlong ban from the NFL in 2014 was upheld today. He was suspended due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but tried to overturn the ban by citing second-hand marijuana smoke. It was a flimsy appeal at best to begin with and the league clearly agreed by sticking with its original decision.
The troubled Gordon was to enter his third year in the league after playing his college football at Baylor. He’s extremely talented and proved so after leading the NFL in receiving yards last year despite only playing 14 games due to suspension for violating the substance abuse policy. Gordon produced 87 catches for 1,646 yards and 9 TDs on the season and earned All-Pro honors. It’s quite the task to beat out receivers such as Calvin Johnson for the league lead, but Gordon did so handedly. It’s an extraordinary blow to a team looking to take steps towards success and one that just invested in its quarterback of the future, one Johnny Manziel.
When facing the Browns this year, the Bengals secondary will have little to worry about now. Their efforts can be solely focused on tight end Jordan Cameron and receivers Miles Austin and Andrew Hawkins. With all due respect to Hawkins (the formerly admired Bengal) and his fellow receivers, they simply don’t present the same threat as Gordon. The likeliness the Bengals come away with two victories against the Browns this year just got substantially better.