Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer says that the offense won’t disrupt its rhythm in an attempt to get All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon the ball when he returns from his suspension, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports.
Gordon was suspended for 10 games after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and is set to return for the team's Week 12 road game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Farmer, who was hired as Cleveland’s GM in February, indicated that Gordon will have an impact on the game as long as he is prepared to play.
"But do you kind of disrupt what you are to just make sure that one person gets the ball? I think that teams win. Talent doesn’t,” Farmer said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It's really about building a team and people have to find a way to fit into the team and I think that's what we're looking for here is a championship level team.”
Gordon was originally suspended for the entire year, but had his banned reduced after the NFL implemented a new drug policy which modified the punishments for those players who have positive drug tests. He has been allowed to work out at the team's facility during the ban. Gordon, 23, caught 87 passes for an NFL-high 1,646 yards and scored nine touchdowns for Cleveland last season, earning first-team AP All-Pro honors.
Cleveland has won two in a row and are 5-3 going into their Thursday night divisional matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Farmer said that it is up to Gordon to see if he wants to help Cleveland succeed. The Browns have not been to the playoffs since 2002 and haven’t had a winning record since 2007.
"We give guys opportunities and then the onus falls on the individual,” Farmer said. "How well do you want to prepare? How much do you want to work at it and then what are you able to accomplish?"
- Scooby Axson