Report: Wait continues for Gordon verdict

Team Rice wide receiver Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns catches a pass against Team Sanders during the fourth quarter of the 2014 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Team Rice defeated Team Sanders 22-21.

Kyle Terada

The Josh Gordon-related rumor mill keeps churning.

A Pro Football Talk report on Thursday said the NFL has set a late July date for an appeal to be heard regarding Gordon’s pending suspension. That’s news if the report is true — Pro Football Talk two weeks ago reported no appeal date had been set — but still not necessarily good news for the Browns.

What if training camp opens on July 26 without an answer? What if the Browns start going forward, then lose Gordon?

That’s a scenario both the team and the NFL likely want to avoid, but nothing is clear at this point. Everything with the NFL’s substance abuse program is supposed to be confidential, and it remains unclear if the team knew or knows anything different than what was first reported in May, on the second day of the NFL Draft.

Throughout May and June workouts, Browns coach Mike Pettine gave the impression he was waiting for an answer as much as anyone else. Gordon, who led the NFL in receiving yards last year despite being suspended for two games, participated in offseason team activity practices and two minicamps.

The latest report of an appeal date being set came after the NFL handed out three substance abuse policy-related suspensions on Thursday and Gordon was not among them.

It’s still a guessing game on many levels.

Also Thursday, Cleveland.com quoted sources close to Gordon as saying they’re worried that an indefinite suspension would keep Gordon away from the team’s support system. If he gets an indefinite suspension, he’ll be immediately barred from team activities. Last year, he participated in training camp and the preseason.

The Browns deserve an answer, but it still seems like no one knows exactly when one is coming.

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