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Despite a costly mistake, Josh Gordon proving his worth to the Browns

With 333 yards, Josh Gordon is by far the Browns' leading receiver. (AJ Mast/AP)


In the span of one game, Josh Gordon essentially summed up the Cleveland Browns' current status: plenty of potential but a long way to go.

With the Browns trailing 14-6 at Indianapolis on Sunday, Gordon and rookie QB Brandon Weeden hooked up for a beautiful 33-yard touchdown -- Gordon turned his body to shield the Colts' Jerraud Powers at the last instant, then snatched Weeden's pass and waltzed in for a TD. But in the next quarter, with Cleveland in position to take a late lead, Gordon came open deep and Weeden delivered a perfect ball.

It slipped right through Gordon's fingers at the goal line and Cleveland went on to lose, 17-13.

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There's no denying the impact made thus far by Gordon, a supplemental draft pick this summer, especially over Cleveland's past three games. Counting Sunday's two-catch, 59-yard day, Gordon has now scored four touchdowns in his last three outings and has been the Browns' leading receiver for each game.

Gordon has looked more and more dangerous every week, no doubt an improvement that goes somewhat hand in hand with Weeden's continued development.

It's easy to understand why Weeden would continue to look Gordon's way, too. The rookie out of Baylor has shown a knack for getting open, especially downfield thanks to his game-breaking speed. That ability is exactly what the Browns were hoping for when they rolled the dice on Gordon by spending a second-round pick in the supplemental draft.

Gordon has received his props on Audibles before -- he was one of our MVPs last week, when the Browns picked up their first win of the year.

That nod came with a note of caution that while Gordon's early output has been tremendous, he's going to go through some growing pains. It's a natural right of passage for a rookie receiver, and especially one with a rookie QB throwing him the ball and handing off to a rookie running back.