In 2012 and 2013, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was looked at as not only the most dangerous player on the Browns roster, but one of the best receivers in football. In those two years, Gordon grabbed 137 receptions for 2,451 yards and 14 touchdowns. When you add in the quarterbacks he's had to deal with, similar to DeAndre Hopkins prior to Deshaun Watson, that is really impressive.
However, numerous suspensions have kept him away from the game for close to three years. Last year, Gordon entered an in-patient rehabilitation facility while being one week away from reinstatement into the NFL. He was officially reinstated last month, and not only is he back, it looks like he hasn't missed a beat. Gordon has given quarterback Deshone Kizer a legitimate number one target, and it gives the Baltimore Ravens defense, a unit coming off it's worst performance in a long time, a daunting task.
Baltimore lost cornerback Jimmy Smith before halftime against the Detroit Lions and have since given up 59 points over their last six quarters of play. In the secondary, the unit has given up numerous big plays during that span, and three touchdown passes. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 506 yards against Baltimore last week, the third time in his career he's crossed the 500-yard threshold.
Now Baltimore takes on a rejuvenated Gordon, whose presence will now open things up more for the rest of the Browns offense with Kizer, Isaiah Crowell, David Njoku, and Corey Coleman. The Ravens defense is vastly different without Smith, and it is quite amazing that after six years now as the defensive coordinator, Dean Pees still hasn't been able to figure out a solid foundation on defense without him.
If Pees can't figure it out against the Browns, Josh Gordon will have a huge afternoon, and have his true welcome back party into the NFL. It will come at the worst time for the Ravens, and will lead to a huge loss.