BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Josh Gordon's fight to stay on the field isn't over.
spent 10 hours in the NFL's offices in New York on Friday for his
appeal hearing before the sides decided to stop and will resume on
Monday, a person familiar with the meeting told The Associated Press.
who is contesting a possible one-year suspension for failing another
drug test, and his legal team met with an arbitrator from 9:30 a.m. to 7
p.m., said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because
neither party is commenting publicly.
It's not known if Gordon
will return to training camp with the Browns over the weekend. The team
has a scrimmage at the University of Akron on Saturday.
Gordon's lawyer, Maurice Suh, contends his client tested positive because of secondhand smoke.
Gordon was in Manhattan, Commissioner Roger Goodell was at the Pro
Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, where he defended the league's
recent two-game suspension of Baltimore running back Ray Rice for
domestic violence and commented briefly on Gordon's situation.
is going through the process right now," Goodell said. "I am not a part
of that process. They'll make a decision based on the information that
is exchanged today. At some point in time, I may have an opportunity to
be involved. When I am, I look forward to meeting with him."
Goodell said the information shared in the hearing will decide Gordon's fate.
they await a decision on their teammate, who also is Cleveland's best
player, the Browns are keeping their fingers crossed the outcome will be
"I'm an optimistic guy," wide receiver Nate Burleson
said. "I'm a glass half-full guy, so I'm always hoping and expecting the
Until they hear from the league, the Browns
are going about the business of getting ready for the upcoming season.
They'd love to have Gordon for as many games as possible. After all,
he's one of the league's elite receivers and an offensive threat who
keeps defensive coordinators awake at night. To be without him for any
time will drastically change Cleveland's offense.
Goodell, who was
widely criticized for not penalizing Rice more for domestic violence,
said each case must be judged on its own merits.
"You have to deal
with the facts," he said. "We have a drug program that is collectively
bargained and it has a step process. It takes four incidents before you
actually reach a suspension in a drug-related case. You have to respond
to facts here. You have a lot of people voicing their opinions, but what
you have to understand is that this is a young man (Rice) who made a
terrible mistake — it's inconsistent with what we're all about.
have dealt with it in a serious manner, and we're very confident that
this young man understands where he is and what he needs to do going
Gordon's list of off-the-field issues is lengthy, which
may hinder his argument. He failed at least three known drug tests in
college and he was suspended two games last season for a drug violation.
from his appeal, Gordon, who led the league in yards receiving despite
being suspended two games last season, could still face league
discipline under the league's personal-conduct policy for his arrest
last month on a DUI charge in Raleigh, North Carolina. Gordon reportedly
checked himself into a rehab clinic in California following the arrest.
Pettine has said the Browns will have to go with a receiver-by-committee approach if Gordon can't play.
Slot receiver Andrew Hawkins is confident he and his teammates can pick up the slack.
have a bunch of hard-working guys with chips on their shoulders who are
going to come out here and bust their butts every day," he said. "And
I'll take that 10 times out of 10."
NOTES: Starting free safety
Tashaun Gipson walked off the practice field with an apparent left knee
injury. Pettine said Gipson, who started 15 games last season, was being
evaluated. ... Pettine ended practice by having members of his staff
catch punts. Pitting the offensive assistants against the defensive
assistants, the competition energized the players, who engaged in some
spirited trash talk and finger pointing before offensive intern Mike
LaFleur caught the final punt, meaning the offense will wear orange
jerseys Monday. "I would of lost a lot of money if you would have said
we'd put eight coaches out there catching knuckle-ball punts and seven
of them would catch it," Pettine said. "Those guys stepped up. It was
impressive." ... Several offensive players celebrated touchdowns, none
more demonstratively that Anthony Armstrong, who threw the ball into the
second level of the VIP hospitality tent. "It was strictly spur of the
moment," he said. "Your emotions take over."