CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) – Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended by the NFL one year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
That’s devastating for Cleveland’s offense, which has struggled during the preseason and enters Thursday night’s final exhibition game against the Chicago Bears (8:00 p.m./10-TV) looking to gain some confidence.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer will start and is expected to play most of the first quarter as Cleveland’s first-team offense tries to get its act together.
Gordon’s suspension is effective immediately and he will miss the entire 2014 season. He will have to apply for reinstatement following the season.
Gordon had appealed his yearlong suspension and met with a league arbitrator in New York on Aug. 4. Arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld the suspension.
The Browns have been waiting four months for a resolution on Gordon’s case. The 23-year-old led the league with 1,646 yards receiving last season despite being suspended the first two games for a failed drug test. He became the first player in league history to record consecutive 200-yard games.
The Bears (2-1) are hoping for a better performance on defense after being routed 34-6 by the Super Bowl champion Seahawks last week.