NEW ORLEANS — Coach Hue Jackson, offensive coordinator Todd Haley and quarterback Tyrod Taylor received a shock Saturday.
Receiver Josh Gordon was ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Saints with a hamstring injury.
Gordon played 69 snaps in the opening tie vs. Pittsburgh, said Wednesday he felt great and practiced all week. He wasn’t listed on the official injury report until Saturday, when he arrived at the team facility and complained about his hamstring, according to a team spokesman.
Gordon was checked by the medical staff and it was determined he couldn’t play, the spokesman said. He didn’t make the trip with the team.
Gordon attended the Lorain High School game Friday night as the Titans debuted a turf field provided by the Browns.
Linebacker Christian Kirksey (ankle) and tight end Seth DeValve (hamstring) were also ruled out. Kirksey had been listed as questionable, and DeValve was added to the injury report Saturday.
They also didn’t travel. Kirksey will miss his first game since being drafted in 2014, a stretch of 65 games.
The Browns have a quick turnaround, playing again Thursday night at home against the Jets.
The loss of Gordon is a serious blow to a passing game that struggled against the Steelers. Taylor was 15-for-40 for 197 yards, a touchdown, an interception, seven sacks and a 51.8 rating.
A focus of the practice week was continuing to develop chemistry between Taylor and Gordon. They connected once, for a 17-yard touchdown, on only three targets in the opener. Gordon was expected to be a bigger part of the game plan against the Saints.
Gordon, who’s missed 54 of the last 65 games serving drug suspensions, was absent from training camp for the first three-plus weeks as he worked on his sobriety and mental health in Florida. He tweaked a hamstring upon his return and missed more practice time. It wasn’t immediately known if the injury Saturday was to the same leg.
He only began practicing Sept. 3 but Wednesday raved about how good he felt during and after the Steelers game.
“Physically I felt great,” he said. “It was good to get that experience and that feeling underneath me, especially an overtime game, the weather and everything, the amount of snaps and reps, it’s good for my body to feel that. I feel great now, I felt great during the game, it was just good to see that my motor was at a decent point at that late in the game.”
Rookie Antonio Callaway is expected to start in his place. Callaway, a fourth-round pick, played 15 snaps against the Steelers and didn’t have a catch in one target.
Rashard Higgins will likely see more time, too, and possibly rookies Damion Ratley and Derrick Willies.
James Burgess is expected to start in place of Kirksey.
DeValve missed all of the preseason with a quadriceps injury but played in the opener.