November 28, 2014

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Browns Notes: WR Josh Gordon tired of trade rumors, wants resolution

Cleveland Browns' Josh Gordon catches a pass in front of Green Bay Packers' Davon House Sunday in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 31-13. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Cleveland Browns’ Josh Gordon catches a pass in front of Green Bay Packers’ Davon House Sunday in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 31-13. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

BEREA — After being the subject of trade rumors for two months, Browns receiver Josh Gordon admits they have taken a toll on him.

However, he also understands that his status won’t be solidified until after the NFL trade deadline passes Tuesday at 4 p.m.

“I’m tired of it, but it’s part of the game and I’m dealing with it,” Gordon said Wednesday. “If something was going to happen, I honestly wish it would happen already, instead of dragging on.

“If I’m still on the team, great. If not, great. That’s just how it’s going to have to go for me. I’m not sure about anything right now.”

The second-year pro has 27 receptions for 450 yards and two touchdowns in five games, but is coming off his worst performance of the season. Gordon only had two catches for 21 yards Sunday in Cleveland’s 31-13 loss at Green Bay.

Shortly after the game, ESPN reported that two teams have made standing offers for Gordon that include a high draft pick and a player, but have been rebuffed by Browns CEO Joe Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi.

Though Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski has repeatedly said that he plans on keeping the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder, Gordon doesn’t put much stock in his words.

“Ultimately, it’s up to Joe Banner and (owner) Jimmy Haslam and the guys up top, but I do feel comforted that my head coach wants me to be here,” he said. “But the reality of it is anybody can make a deal, and they’re saying they’re open to listening to people, so anything can happen.”

Gordon denied that his body language was bad — as many reporters suggested — during the loss to the Packers, but said the weather might have caused players to “be looking a little bit slower.”

The 2012 supplemental draft choice added that he wants to remain with the Browns, but is only worried about playing better Sunday when Cleveland travels to Kansas City to challenge the undefeated Chiefs.

“I’m here in Cleveland and I want to make a difference here in Cleveland,” Gordon said. “My head and my space is right here, and that’s what I’m focusing on.”

Banner day

Chiefs coach Andy Reid worked with Banner for 14 years with the Philadelphia Eagles and believes the Browns have the right man to head their football operations.

“I’m a big Joe Banner fan,” he said during a conference call with Cleveland reporters. “He’s a brilliant guy. He knows football. He knows talent. He knows what it takes to win. I think he’ll do a great job and Cleveland is very lucky to have him.”

Reid expressed confidence in the myriad roster moves that Banner has made this season, including the trade of running back Trent Richardson to Indianapolis for a 2014 first-round draft pick, but cautioned fans to give them time to play out.

“What might seem crazy now, just watch how it blossoms in the future,” said Reid, who coached the Eagles from 1999-2012. “He’s got a great eye for putting things together that way.

“I was also very close to (former Browns president) Mike Holmgren and I thought he had things going in the right direction. Joe was able to pick it up and put his mark on it.”

Reid, who served as one of Holmgren’s assistants when Green Bay won the 1996 Super Bowl, also had high praise for Cleveland’s coaching staff led by Chudzinski.

“I think Joe hired a tremendous head coach,” he said. “And I think the coordinators that Rob has hired for the Browns are tremendous (Norv Turner on offense, Ray Horton on defense, Chris Tabor on special teams).”

Legal tackle

Browns safety Tashaun Gipson said he has not been fined by the NFL — and doesn’t expect to be — for his shoulder-to-helmet hit on Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.

Finley spent one day in the intensive care unit of a Wisconsin hospital with a bruised spinal cord, but never lost feeling in his extremities. Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said the 26-year-old has a “significant” injury and would not speculate on his return.

“I figured if I didn’t get anything by Wednesday, I wasn’t going to get fined,” Gipson said. “I thought it was a clean hit. The league agreed. It was a blessing I didn’t get the envelope.

“It’s unfortunate what happened, but I’m just looking to move forward.”

Gipson said he was given Finley’s phone number by his agent and texted him a message of support.

“It’s a private matter between me and him, but he seems like he’s in good spirits and is up and moving,” the second-year pro said. “I’m leaving it in God’s hands and wishing him a speedy recovery.”

Injury update

Linebacker Quentin Groves (left ankle sprain) did not practice and is undergoing additional medical tests. He missed three games earlier this season with a similar injury and was reinjured against the Packers.

Defensive end Billy Winn (quadriceps) and linebacker Brandon Magee (oblique) were limited, but Chudzinski said Winn “is really close right now” to returning to action.

Running back Willis McGahee (knee), fullback Chris Ogbonnaya (ribs), cornerback Chris Owens (finger), linebacker Tank Carter (neck) and defensive end Armonty Bryant (shoulder) took part in all team activities.

** Chiefs safety Kendrick Lewis (ankle) and tight end Anthony Fasano (knee, ankle) were limited.

Linebacker Derrick Johnson (wrist), guard Jeff Allen (knee, groin), linebacker Dezman Moses (toe), cornerback Ron Parker (toe) and fullback Anthony Sherman (knee, calf) were full participants.

Safety dance

Safety Josh Aubrey was one of the more pleasant surprises of the preseason, making the roster as an undrafted rookie.

Though he suffered a season-ending left high ankle sprain Thursday, the Stephen F. Austin product remains optimistic about his future.

“It’s disappointing, but it’s football,” Aubrey said. “You’re going to run into some hard times, regardless if you’re a rookie or a veteran. I’m going to look at this as part of the journey.”

Rookie safety Jordan Poyer — claimed off waivers Monday from the Eagles — has taken over Aubrey’s spot as the backup to strong safety T.J. Ward.

Roster moves

Cornerback Julian Posey and running back Jamaine Cook were added to the practice squad.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Posey made his Cleveland debut Sunday against the Packers, but was waived one day later. He is a Cincinnati native and Ohio University product.

Cook was on the preseason roster from Aug. 18-31. The 5-9, 210-pounder attended Midpark High School and Youngstown State, but went undrafted earlier this year.

Posey will again wear No. 38, while Cook has been assigned No. 34.

Extra points

Haslam attended practice and spent a lot of time talking with defensive coordinator Ray Horton inside the field house.

** The Browns/Packers game earned a 26.3 rating and 47 share in Northeast Ohio, which ranked 15th among the NFL’s 31 television markets. The same matchup drew a 42.3 rating and 69 share in Greater Milwaukee.

** Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts will be behind the mic for CBS’ broadcast of the Browns/Chiefs game. Cleveland and Toledo are the only Ohio markets scheduled to air the game.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.