Browns to release WR Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon

The Browns shocked the NFL Saturday when they announced they meant to release the brilliant but troubled Gordon amid reports that he injured his hamstring at a promo shoot and was "not himself" when he showed up to team facilities.

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The team had stuck with Gordon, 27, through all his personal troubles over a period of six years but will part ways with him on Monday officially.

It's interesting - Gordon missed the start of Browns camp as he continued to receive treatment for issues that kept him out of the National Football League entirely in 2015 and 2016, but he returned before preseason ended and was expected to be one of their top receivers.

Gordon had missed all of the preseason while nursing a hamstring injury. Gordon was on the field for 69 snaps (78 percent of the Browns' plays), but had only three passes thrown his way.

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a doubt for the game with an injury, while Emerson and Davide Zappacosta are also unlikely to feature. The former England centre-back rejected a move to Spartak Moscow this week, citing family reasons.

Gordon caught the game-tying touchdown for the Browns in last week's game against the Steelers.

The news came several hours after Gordon was listed as out for Sunday's Week 2 game at New Orleans due to a hamstring injury. He didn't make much of that second chance as he was then suspended for all of 2015 and 2016 - again for violation of the substance abuse policy. But given Gordon's talent, it's likely that more than one receiver-needy club will be fascinated by the idea of doing what the Browns ultimately could not: tap into his vast well of talent while also steering him clear of his many troubles.

Despite his past issues, Gordon was welcomed back by the Browns late last season. Later that season, his suspension was reduced and he played in five games.

He wasn't wrong as soon after Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Gordon was being released by the Browns. With Gordon gone, the team will rely heavily on Rashard Higgins and Antonio Callaway to work alongside Jarvis Landry and tight end David Njoku.

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