Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine told reporters Thursday that receiver Josh Gordon's uncertain future has weighed on him.
Gordon is currently awaiting the NFL's ruling on his appeal of a year-long suspension for violating the league's drug policy. His hearing concluded Aug. 4. The Browns are awaiting a ruling, which is scheduled to come down anytime one to three weeks after the hearing date.
Though Gordon is expected to miss a significant part of the season, likely at least eight games, the receiver has been practicing with the team during training camp and played in Cleveland's preseason games against the Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins.
Pettine said Thursday he thought Gordon showed a lack of effort against the Redskins on Monday, when he caught one pass for eight yards. But the coach said Gordon's pending suspension wasn't an excuse.
Gordon, 23, led the NFL last season with 1,646 receiving yards. He received word of his suspension in May after allegedly failing a drug test for the second time. Later in the summer, Gordon was arrested for DWI.
Gordon's appeal reportedly focused on the claim that second-hand smoke was responsible for his positive test. In the days after his hearing concluded, there reportedly hadn't been any settlement discussions between Gordon and the league.
- Ben Estes