BEREA — Coach Rob Chudzinski said Sept. 23 the Browns had no plans to trade receiver Josh Gordon. That hasn’t stopped the rumors.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday the Browns and 49ers have discussed a deal, but it’s unlikely with San Francisco receivers Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree due to return from injuries.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport added the Browns aren’t shopping Gordon, but have talked to teams and want a second-rounder in return. The chances of a deal are slim.
The reports of Gordon being shopped started the morning of Sept. 22, hours before Gordon was set to make his season debut. Gordon, motivated by the reports, responded with a career-high 10 catches for 146 yards vs. the Vikings.
Gordon is the team’s No. 1 wideout and has 18 catches for 303 yards and two touchdowns in three games. The Browns would be willing to move him – for the right price – because Gordon believes another failed drug test would bring a one-year suspension. Gordon served a two-game suspension to start the season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and blamed the failed test on codeine in a prescribed cough medicine.
Gordon’s off-the-field troubles would likely prevent another team from parting with a second-rounder. The Browns then might decide they’re better off keeping the talented wideout.
Gordon failed three tests for marijuana in college and was dismissed from the Baylor team. He was chosen in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft by former general manager Tom Heckert, and has never had the full support of the new regime.
Gordon said Sept. 25 that Chudzinski had texted him, reassuring him he wasn’t on the trade block.
“It makes me feel a little more comfortable,” Gordon said. “At the same time, anything can happen.
“I guess after what happened to Trent (Richardson), I think that’s probably the way it’s going for a lot of these guys. You’re going to think about it until the deadline definitely happens.”
The NFL trading deadline is Oct. 29.
Defensive end Desmond Bryant said the irregular heartbeat he experienced Thursday night for the second time in 11 months was scary, but he’s feeling better and isn’t worried about returning to the field Sunday against Detroit.
“It’s a pretty scary feeling,” he said. “Your heart won’t calm down. Fortunately we’ve got a great staff on hand and they’ve got me doing the right things I need and I’m now back to normal.
“The docs this time are doing some things to prevent it from happening again. I need to try to cut out anything that might start this up, as well as I’m going to be taking some medication to help prevent it.”
Bryant was taken to a hospital in November after experiencing similar symptoms during a game in his time with the Raiders. He was able to play the next week and was fine until Thursday.
He felt his heart beating fast and was short of breath against the Bills. Bryant said the racing heart was most noticeable at halftime and he played a series in the third quarter before conferring with trainers, who removed him from the game and sent him to the Cleveland Clinic.
The doctors slowed down his heartbeat with medication. He’s heard a surgical procedure could be possible, but “we’re not at that point yet.”
“I hoped it would only be a one-time thing. Then it happened again,” he said. “So now you just take more steps to prevent it from happening in the future and I’m confident in the course of action the doctors are taking.”
NO HARM INTENDED
Free safety Tashaun Gipson understands his celebratory fist-pump immediately after the hit to the knee that sidelined Bills quarterback EJ Manuel didn’t look good. But he reiterated he had no intent to injure Manuel and didn’t take pleasure in it.
“I did not try to hurt him and my gestures at the end of the play probably didn’t suit me well, but I was not celebrating injuring no guy in this league,” Gipson said. “I would not try and hurt the quarterback of their team and I dang sure wouldn’t celebrate about it.”
Gipson said he was caught up in the emotion of making a play.
“Football is an intense game and you know maybe a little too much adrenaline and things like that came over me at the time,” he said. “My condolences go out to him and I hope that he gets well soon.”
MANY JOBS OF GRAY
Rookie tight end MarQueis Gray has a lot on his plate, but he’s not complaining.
“I look at it as a compliment for the coaching staff to give me that chance, to let me do so many things so I can be able to stay on this team as long as I can,” he said.
Gray was a quarterback at the University of Minnesota but converted to tight end when signed by the 49ers after the draft. The Browns claimed him when he was waived in final cuts.
Gray is third on the depth chart at tight end and has seen time at fullback in place of the injured Chris Ogbonnaya and Wildcat quarterback. He’s also the emergency quarterback if Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell get hurt. Gray said he began taking post-practice snaps at quarterback Monday.
Gray’s first snaps at fullback came Thursday after Ogbonnaya left with a concussion. NFL fullback is a long way from college quarterback.
“It’s lot of physicalness,” he said. “You just got to go in there and put your head in the hole and make sure you clear a lane for the running back.
“I got sore a little bit the next day. It was a pretty good amount of good hits I took.”
Outside linebackers Jabaal Sheard (knee) and Quentin Groves (ankle) didn’t practice but worked outside with trainers. Groves has missed the last three games, Sheard the last two. Sheard had a brace on the left knee.
** Defensive end Billy Winn still isn’t practicing after injuring his quadriceps Sept. 22 against the Vikings. He said he’s feeling good but doesn’t have a timetable for his return. He said he’s never had the injury before.
“It’s tough not being out there with my guys,” Winn said. “We’re a family here and since training camp been able to build a sense of brotherhood, and it sucks not being out there.”
Winn was off to a strong start with 10 tackles and a sack.
** Chudzinski said Ogbonnaya hasn’t been cleared following a concussion sustained Thursday. He was able to do some running on a side field.
Chudzinski said receiver Greg Little will continue to return kickoffs despite his 14.7-yard average on three tries vs. the Bills. Running back Fozzy Whittaker will also get a look in practice.
** Receiver Josh Cooper was signed to the practice squad. He was released from the active roster last week to clear room for Whittaker.
Linebacker Justin Staples, who went to St. Ed’s, was released from the practice squad.
** Right guard Shawn Lauvao played 62 of 68 offensive snaps in his return to the lineup. Oniel Cousins replaced him for six snaps early in the game.
** Little didn’t start but played 50 snaps at receiver. Davone Bess, who did start, played 31 snaps.
** Chudzinski admitted he made a mistake and should’ve gone for a 2-point conversion following T.J. Ward’s clinching touchdown vs. the Bills. The extra point gave the Browns a 13-point lead with 1:44 left, and two touchdowns and two extra points would’ve beat them.
“I should have went for two. That’s my fault,” Chudzinski said.