Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon knows the old baseball cliche – 3 strikes you’re out.
Apparently Gordon also knows he’s down to his final strike after confirming Monday that his next failed drug test will result in a 1-year ban from the league.
“I think that’s what it is,” Gordon said. “I believe so.”
Gordon has been granted a 48-hour roster exemption by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell so the Browns don’t have to make move now until Wednesday.
Gordon said the suspension, along with a recent speeding ticket, have helped him understand that he’s risking too much to get in trouble.
“It’s a humbling experience,” Gordon said. “You find an appreciation for the game. The absence of it makes the heart grow fonder in a sense. That’s really what it’s about for me right now.”
Browns CEO Joe Banner has made it clear prior to training camp that Gordon is running out of chances. Gordon said Monday that having to sit out the last 2 weeks has made him think long and hard about that.
“I feel like it’s a last-chance opportunity for the league,” Gordon said. “Nobody wants a problematic type of person in their program, in their organization because of how it perceives to be. I definitely want to stay away from any controversy as long as I can, forever. That’s definitely my No. 1 priority.”
Gordon, who had a history of suspensions related to drug violations in college, was selected with the tender of the Browns 2013 2nd round pick in the 2012 supplemental draft.
He caught 50 passes for a team-high 805 yards and 5 touchdowns as a rookie last season.
Strong Debut – It took 1 play for rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo to show why he was the No. 6 pick in the draft.
He blew by 2-time pro bowler Bryant McKinnie and sacked Joe Flacco.
“That was definitely the best-case scenario,” Mingo said. “Able to get out of the gate fast, help the team, but ultimately we fell short and we know we got to improve on that.”
Mingo missed the final 2 preseason games and the season opener with a bruised lung that he sustained Aug. 15 on the opening kickoff vs. Detroit. After missing nearly 3 weeks with no physical activity, Mingo felt fine Sunday against the Ravens.
“I have been feeling the same way for the last couple of weeks,” Mingo said. “It took some time to get back in shape, but for the most part I have been feeling fine – no health-related problems. I’m running good, feeling good, breathing good. All good.”
Mingo tallied the sack, 2 solo tackles – 1 for a loss, batted down a pass, drew 2 holding penalties, 1 on defense and another on special teams during his debut.
Lauvao Hopeful – Right guard Shawn Lauvao can’t come back fast enough.
Lauvao, who was carted off the field on Aug. 5, said Monday that he’s still feeling some discomfort in his ankle 5 weeks removed from minor surgery on Aug. 9.
“I want to be out there with my guys, but right now I’m just doing the best I can to support them and cheer them on and that,” Lauvao said. “I’m battling my butt off to come back. I will see how it feels and do what they tell me to do.”
Quarterback Brandon Weeden has been sacked 11 times and hit a total of 28 times while Lauvao has been sidelined while the offense has managed just 16 points in 2 games.
“It’s like with anything it’s a process,” Lauvao said. “There are going to be some growing pains, but we believe in it and coaches believe in us as players. It’s like anything you have keep chopping wood and keep building on it.”
Call A Tow Truck – Lauvao was involved in a single car accident on I-90 Monday when he drove onto a hole in an incomplete ramp for the new innerbelt bridge Monday morning.
Lauvao was not injured but his car had to be towed according to team spokesman Zak Gilbert. Gilbert said Lauvao was on his way to the facility around 7 a.m. when he made a wrong turn and then tried to turn his car around. Alcohol was not involved in the accident either according to Gilbert.
It was the second traffic incident involving a Browns player on Monday.
Receiver Greg Little was pulled over again by Cleveland police for running a stop sign and making an illegal u-turn. He was also cited for driving with a suspended license and his car was towed.
Up Next – The Browns are off Tuesday and return to practice Wednesday.
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