BEREA — Receiver Josh Gordon is eligible to begin practicing next week, and coach Hue Jackson said he’s on course.
“He is doing well,” Jackson said Thursday. “He is here in the building every day, on time for everything, involved and big smile on his face. He is a pleasure to be around.”
Gordon was conditionally reinstated from indefinite suspension by Commissioner Roger Goodell on Nov. 1 and has been attending meetings with the team and training individually. If he complies with clinical and other requirements, he will be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list Monday and permitted to practice. He would join the rest of the team Wednesday when on-field preparations begin for the Bengals.
Gordon is scheduled to be eligible to play Dec. 3 in Los Angeles against the Chargers, nearly three years after his last regular-season game.
Receiver Corey Coleman has known Gordon for years through their Baylor University ties and sees a happier Gordon since his return.
“I definitely do. He’s excited,” Coleman said. “People got growing pains and stuff and he’s happy to be here. He’s ready to play football.”
Coleman will be back in the lineup Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars after missing seven games with a broken hand. He’s looking forward to sharing the field with Gordon when the time comes.
“Me and JG talk every day,” he said. “I’m so happy for him, he’s back on track and I’m excited to play with him.
“Just for him being an older guy, I can learn a lot from him, so I talk to him about everyday life and we talk about football. Just talk about what we can do.”
STEPPING IN … AND UP
Outside linebacker James Burgess has done it before, so he feels more comfortable and confident replacing Jamie Collins in the starting lineup. Burgess started two games last month when Collins was out with a concussion.
“I proved that I belong here and played pretty solid,” Burgess said. “It was another opportunity to show that I belong in this league, coming from last year, not being active at all.
“It’s just a great feeling to be out there playing again, starting again. Injuries are bad, I wish Jamie Collins a speedy recovery, but I’ll definitely go out there, showcase my talents and do the best I can.”
Collins was lost for the rest of the season with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. The injury occurred Sunday in the loss to the Lions.
“He is a great dude,” Burgess said. “He is a heckuva player. You can’t replace him, but I’ll try my best. I stepped in this role before so it is nothing new.”
In seven games and two starts, Burgess has 19 tackles, two sacks, three passes defensed and a forced fumble.
“He made plays, he was very productive,” middle linebacker Joe Schobert said. “James is a great player and I don’t think there will be very much drop-off.”
LET IT SNOW
Snow is in the forecast for Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium, which means it’s a good time of the year to be able to run the ball.
“It is AFC North time is what it is,” Jackson said. “This is when you start coming after it a little bit more that way running the ball, but still have to be able to throw it as we all know. There are third-down situations and scoring zones and all of those things that still happen, but this is a time when teams really start to set their jaw and start running the football.”
The Browns rushed for a season-high 201 yards last week against the Lions and rank 17th in the NFL with 106.9 a game. The Jaguars rank 25th in rushing defense (120.7) but are tied for first over the last three weeks (58.0) after trading for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
Right tackle Shon Coleman (concussion) and center JC Tretter (shoulder/knee/quadriceps) didn’t practice for the second straight day, but Jackson remained hopeful they could play Sunday.
“I feel confident that these guys both have a chance to be back playing,” he said.
Tretter rode the stationary bike and worked on the side with trainers. He’s started every game this year and would be replaced by Austin Reiter.
Coleman sustained the concussion against the Lions. Rookie Zach Banner would take his spot and make his first start.
The Jaguars lead the league with 35 sacks, so it’s not a good week to be dealing with injuries along the line.
** For the Jaguars, receivers Allen Hurns (ankle) and Arrelious Benn (knee), left guard Patrick Omameh (quadriceps) and right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) didn’t practice.
Receiver Kasen Williams was waived to make room for Corey Coleman to come off injured reserve. Williams was claimed off waivers from Seattle on Sept. 3 and had nine catches for 84 yards in seven games.
** Safety Ibraheim Campbell was waived from injured reserve.
** Receiver Kenny Britt and tight end David Njoku worked on their professional wrestling moves during the interview period in the locker room. They could be part of a future touchdown celebration.
** The Browns will honor military personnel, veterans and their families throughout the game as part of the NFL’s Salute to Service.
** The team will collect donations for its annual food drive outside the stadium before the game. Non-perishable canned food items and money will be accepted and given to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.