Browns buzzes over Gordon’s first game in 3 years



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BEREA, Ohio (AP) The imminent return of Josh Gordon makes the Browns buzz.

Suddenly, there is a ray of hope in this lugubrious and dismal season.

With Gordon eligible to play Sunday in Los Angeles for the first time in the regular season since 2014, coach Hue Jackson can barely contain his excitement at having the receiver open.

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"Do I have plans for him?" Jackson said Monday. "Oh boy, let me tell you, I have big plans for him."

Gordon's comeback has brought a much-needed optimism for the Browns (0-11), who are running out of time and games to avoid joining 2008. The Detroit Lions as the only teams 0-16 in history of the NFL.

A former All-Pro, Gordon, who led the league in receiving yards in 2013, is expected to activate later this week and make his long-awaited comeback against the Chargers on Sunday.

Gordon returned to practice last week after being suspended for two seasons and dazzled his teammates, who can not wait to see if he can be the same electrifying player.

"I plan that he plays and plays everything he can," Jackson said. "He's a very talented player, he has to go out and play, but we have to see where he is and make sure how much he can handle, how much he can do."

Gordon was eligible to leave the Commissioner's exempt list on Monday, but the Browns intend to wait until later in the week to activate it. The 26-year-old played a regular-season game on December 21, 2014.

The Cleveland squad has changed dramatically since then, but guard Joel Bitonio remembers when Gordon returned from a suspension for the last time. On November 23, 2014, Gordon caught eight pbades for 120 yards when the Browns beat the Atlanta Falcons 26-24.

"Every time you bring in a player of Josh's talent, it's going to spark the offense." Bitonio said.

"He has also been out of football for a while, so no matter how good his form, expectations should be moderated a bit, but I think there will be a shake up in practice, exciting."

"I do not know which is the game plan for him still or something like that, but he was an All-Pro. He was one of the best receivers of the game the last time he played and we hope to bring that spark. I think that helps the protections, helps the running game, that helps the field marshal and maybe the offense is encouraged too.

"It could be a great week for him."

– [19659002] For more coverage of the NFL: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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