Browns' top receiver Josh Gordon gets two-game suspension
Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland reported Friday that Gordon has been suspended two games and will forfeit four game checks for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. It is believed that multiple marijuana incidents are what caused Gordon to leave Baylor and ultimately enter the NFL's Supplemental Draft in 2012, so the Browns knew they were running the risk of something like this happening.
The news unfortunately broke just hours after ESPN Cleveland reported that "the only thing that can stop [Gordon] from being an elite player this year is himself." After developing into a dangerous big play threat as a rookie, Gordon was a premier breakout candidate in 2013. He'll be playing in a new system run by offensive coordinator Norv Turner that features aggressive, vertical passing patterns. He will still have a great chance to improve on the 50 catches, 805 yards, and five touchdowns he posted in 2012, but it would have been nice to see him play a full 16-game season.
Gordon will miss games against the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens - two teams that have question marks at cornerback. Dolphins top corner Brent Grimes is returning from a torn Achilles tendon, while the Ravens' Lardarius Webb is returning from a torn ACL. It would have been nice to see Gordon test those injuries early on in the season.
The Browns will now roll with Greg Little as their top receiver, with Davone Bess drawing the two starts in Gordon's absence. Little has loads of physical ability, but has struggled mightily to catch the football thus far in his young career. Bess, on the other hand, has great hands, but struggles to gain yards after the catch.
Gordon is still well worth drafting in fantasy leagues, but the suspension will drop his stock a bit. However, you could end up getting one of this season's breakout candidates at a great value if he begins to slip too far on your draft board.