CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon may have just returned from his latest NFL-mandated suspension, but he has some lofty goals despite being nearly three years removed from his last regular-season game.
Gordon believes he has everything in place to once again be at the top of his profession, just as he was during his Pro Bowl season in 2013.
“I feel as though I can stick to that plan, the rest will take care of itself, but ultimately, my goal is to be the best wide receiver of all time,” Gordon said Wednesday. “I think any wide receiver, anybody at any position should see themselves in that way.
“They should work toward that goal. For me, that has always been my goal, and I think it has just been reaffirmed for me time and time again. Now, being back in a situation to do it, I plan on seeing it through.”
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Terms of the reinstatement are conditional, and Gordon will be eligible to return to game action on Sunday, December 3 at the Los Angeles Chargers. Gordon can return to practice on Monday, November 20, but can attend meetings and go through individual workouts immediately.
“I feel confident for the mere fact of the amount of work I put in,” Gordon said. “That in and of itself is what I know can translate towards the field. I feel as though I work harder than anybody else in my position, and I do that specifically to make sure I can ensure myself to be the best version of myself I can be.
“If I can get the rest of it, that is just extra for me, but I plan on being the best and I plan on working harder and outworking anybody else opposing me or anybody in the room just as far as it goes competition-wise just to create that atmosphere. For me, I am definitely confident in what I can produce and what I can put out there.”
Since joining the Browns through a second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft, Gordon has turned 161 catches into 2,754 yards and 14 touchdowns. A Pro Bowl player in 2013, Gordon set a franchise record with an NFL-best 1,646 yards on 87 receptions with nine of those catches going for touchdowns despite missing the first two games of the season because of a suspension.
However, Gordon has been suspended for 41 consecutive games dating back to the final week of the 2014 season, which was a team ban for reportedly missing a walk-through prior to a trip to Baltimore to play the Ravens.
Gordon has been suspended for a total of 53 career games, 52 of which were NFL bans for positive drug and alcohol tests, but feels “a newfound obsession of improvement” will help him make the most of every day going forward.
“Day-to-day basis is wake up and make sure that I can improve somewhere, that I feel as though there is a fault or there is a weakness,” Gordon said. “I think every day there is something else to be worked on, whether it is on the field, outside of here, my relationship with my family or whomever it may be. I always have to continue to check in with myself and take those inventories specifically where I am at with it today and kind of practice self-care. That is what I try to do.”