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Monday, July 23, 2018

Football

NFL says there is ‘no timetable’ for Josh Gordon to return to Browns

Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon revealed on Monday that he will not be present when the Cleveland Browns begin training camp this week, but the star wide receiver insisted he is doing well physically and mentally and that his absence is part of his treatment plan. The way the NFL responded to the situation has created some skepticism, however.

Shortly after Gordon issued a statement on Twitter, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said there is “no timetable” for Gordon’s return to the Browns and that the matter will be addressed “at the appropriate time.”

If Gordon is simply missing the start of camp as part of a scheduled treatment plan, why would the NFL be addressing the matter? Gordon remains in Stage Three of the league’s substance abuse program, meaning he can be drug tested up to 10 times per month. If he tested positive or failed to comply, he would be indefinitely suspended for a minimum of one year.

A source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network that the Browns have no plans to move on from Gordon, so it does not sound as if he has tested positive again.

Gordon has a long history with drug and alcohol abuse that he has been very open about since he was reinstated, so we can’t rule anything out. If nothing else, the timing of his absence is certainly a bit troubling.

Josh Gordon explains why he will not attend start of training camp

Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon does not plan to be present when the Cleveland Browns begin training camp this week, but the star wide receiver says the absence is all part of a recovery plan that the team, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have all helped him put together.

Gordon, whose struggles with drug and alcohol addiction have been well-documented, took to Twitter on Monday to explain why fans will not see him on the field when camp opens on Thursday.

Gordon appeared in five games for the Browns last season after he was reinstated, and he caught a total of 18 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown. Poor quarterback play kept him from showing the brilliance we had grown used to seeing early in his career, but Cleveland is hoping the additions of Tyrod Taylor and No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield can help change that.

Gordon has been very open about his off-field issues, some of which he says spilled over into his pregame routine years ago. It’s no surprise the Browns and the NFL want him to continue with a treatment plan.

Report: Shane Ray avoided wrist surgery, may not miss a game

Shane Ray Missouri

Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray played in just eight games last after he tore a ligament in his wrist during training camp, and it looked like he was on a similar path heading into the 2018 season. However, Ray and the Broncos received some unexpected good news recently.

Ray was slated to undergo a second wrist surgery this summer, but the doctor set to perform the procedure has decided it is not necessary. That means the former first-round pick may not miss any time in the regular season.

Ray is entering the final year of his rookie contract, as the Broncos chose not to pick up his fifth-year option. While he recorded just one sack last season, the 25-year-old had eight sacks when he played a full season in 2016. If he can get healthy in time for Week 1, he’ll have plenty of motivation to put up big numbers heading into free agency. That should be a big boost for Denver’s defensive front.

Report: Titans place Kevin Dodd on did not report list

Tennessee Titans

Kevin Dodd continues to seemingly be on the outs with the Tennessee Titans.

The former second-round pick did not report for OTAs this offseason. Now, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says the Titans placed Dodd on the Did Not Report list.

Taken No. 33 overall in 2016, Dodd has only played in 18 games over his first two seasons and has hardly contributed with just 12 tackles and one sack. The linebacker/defensive end was viewed as a player on the roster bubble entering training camp. The latest move makes it seem even more likely that he will not be with the team this season.

Ravens OC: Lamar Jackson is ‘way ahead of the curve’

Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson may be well on his way to pushing Joe Flacco for the Baltimore Ravens’ starting quarterback job.

Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on Sunday praised Jackson for the work that he’s done, saying he’s “way ahead of the curve.”

Baltimore made Jackson the No. 32 overall pick in the draft. They were hoping that Jackson would push Flacco for the starting job, and he seems to be doing so. He’s already No. 2 on the depth chart, and perhaps he is bringing out some improved play from Flacco too.

Mornhinweg also had praise for Flacco, who no longer appears to be limited by his back injury.

Between Jackson and a healthy Flacco, the Ravens may be well situated on offense this season.

NFL community pays tribute to Tony Sparano

The Minnesota Vikings announced on Sunday that longtime NFL coach Tony Sparano has died at age 56, and the reaction from teams, coaches, players and executives shows just how respected he was across the league.

Sparano, who is best known for his four-year stint as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach from 2008-2011, complained of chest pains last week and was admitted to the hospital on Thursday. He was released Friday after doctors conducted a series of tests, but he died Sunday morning. The NFL community was left stunned, and many paid tribute to the late coach.

There were many more tributes, and they are sure to continue rolling in as people across the football world learn the tough news. Sparano leaves behind his wife, three children, and four grandchildren.

Saquon Barkley signs rookie contract with Giants

Saquon Barkley Giants

Saquon Barkley will be ready to roll when the New York Giants open up training camp.

The team’s first-round pick agreed to a four-year deal worth $31.2 million, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Rapoport says the contract is fully guaranteed.

The Giants made Barkley the No. 2 overall pick. He was viewed as an excellent prospect coming out of Penn State with some saying the Giants viewed him as near-perfect prospect. The Giants believe he will be a difference-maker in their offense.

Getting him signed for the start of camp is a big deal and good way to get the season started. Next up is getting Odell Beckham Jr. in the fold.

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