Wednesday Morning QB (Week 9)

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This week one of the longest-running dramas in the NFL took another step and it will be a big fork in the road.

Josh Gordon as one of the top receivers in the league playing on one of the worst teams after he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns.

When he was drafted by the Browns it was a big get for the team as they had finally found a real threat in the offence.

It might not have been the only thing they needed but it was a piece that the Browns had to get and one they finally had.

Gordon was going to be a big target for the Browns and a major part of the offence as he continued his development.

Then came the first major blow in typical Browns fashion as their top player was set to be suspended in only his second season.

A failed drug test had Gordon suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season but the rest of the year proved to be at pro bowl level.

The writing was on the wall though as Gordon had already failed a drug test for an illegal drug, although it was not a performance-enhancing drug.

In 2014 the troubles continued for Gordon as he was caught driving while impaired and admitted to the transgression.

That arrest got him a second suspension as he missed most of the 2014 season after a year-long suspension was reduced to ten games until the Browns suspended him for one more game after breaking team rules.

2015 saw the season begin with another suspension this time for the full season after he once again violated the drug abuse policy after consuming alcohol when it was required that he not consume any substance as a part of his rehabilitation.

Just as he was set to come back, the league found out that he had once again failed a drug test and they denied his reinstatement.

Eventually, the NFL backtracked on their decision reinstating the receiver allowing him to participate in Browns’ camp but suspending him for the first four games of the season.

Instead of serving his suspension and coming back he decided to undergo in-patient therapy and come back in the right mind frame.

That long road of chances has led to this week when the NFL officially reinstated the receiver once more with the condition that he not be allowed to play a game until Week 13.

For many, this has to be the last chance after so many before and it brings up a debate about players and their off-field issues.

There always seems to be some kind of controversy in the NFL whether it is a failed drug test or a domestic abuse accusation or another type of offence.

There always seems to be something that the NFL has to deal with and the combination of time and money seems to be trouble for a number of athletes.

Although the NFL has had a lot of controversy about how they handle certain cases they continue to try to make the right decisions.

Gordon could be proof of the NFL making the right decisions and can help put a player on the right track.football-sidebar

Of course, it took a lot more work for Gordon than it did for the NFL but not putting someone back in who is clearly on the wrong path is something.

The receiver hopes to return to the field in Week 13 after years of trying to get right.

In an interview this week after being reinstating and officially beginning his return to the league Gordon admitted that he might not have played a game without being under the influence of something.

For a player to go out every week under the influence is not something that the NFL wants to see for multiple reasons.

Of course, there is the family-friendly look of the NFL that is likely the biggest motivator but there is something to be said about the league and the owners not wanting to see this happen to a young man.

He now looks to make his return and it seems like it has to be the final chance for the talented receiver.

There is always room in the league for talent as has been proven time and time again with players arrested only to return.

There is a breaking point though and a number of players have seen that and for Gordon, this might be it.

There have been the players that have done unspeakable things that have been given chances only to ruin that chance.

Gordon is slightly different as he has really only hurt himself to this point despite risking much worse issues.

The Browns are willing to give him multiple chances but after wasting all of them there is not a lot of room left.

Another suspension could take him out of the league forever with a very slim chance of reinstatement.

If he truly is recovered he could return and be one of the best comeback stories ever and is sure to be celebrated for his ability to come back and be a true NFL player.

 

Fifth Quarter

Bump in Salary

The Browns are once again one of the worst teams in the league as they continue to struggle to find the pieces they need to compete. Things only got worse when they lost their best player Joe Thomas last week with a season-ending injury. The news wasn’t all bad this week though as that great player was rewarded for his loyalty and ability on the line. Thomas received a $1.3 million bonus that was due in his contract while he will also see a boost in salary next year making him the highest paid lineman in the league.

Shutting Winston Down

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had some high hopes this year as they were looking for Jameis Winston to take another step and lead the team to the playoffs. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really taken place this year as they have fallen to the bottom of the division and don’t seem to be headed to the playoffs. That situation has made the decision they made this week far easier as they decided to shut down Winston for several weeks with a shoulder injury.

The Long Road Back

Teddy Bridgewater was the future of the Minnesota Vikings as the rise of the team seemed like it was tied to the young quarterback. So when he went down just before the 2016 season things were looking bad for the team as their future was all of a sudden on the sidelines. That injury has stuck with the team despite their great play as Bridgewater remained out to start this season. Things are looking up though as Bridgewater could be activated this week and play a backup role before eventually returning to the starting role.

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