BEREA, Ohio — As his teammates sweated through another training camp practice, Josh Gordon was in a New York office building where his career — and Cleveland’s season — were in jeopardy.
Gordon met Friday with NFL officials to appeal a possible indefinite suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Gordon’s attorney, Maurice Suh, and other members of his legal team were expected to argue that Gordon tested positive for marijuana because of secondhand smoke, a defense they planned to augment with witnesses.
No decision on Gordon is expected for several days, and the Browns are keeping their fingers crossed the outcome will be favorable.
“I’m an optimistic guy,” said wide receiver Nate Burleson. “I’m a glass half-full guy, so I’m always hoping and expecting the best-case scenario.”
Until they hear from the league, the Browns are going about the business of getting ready for the upcoming season.
They’d love to have Gordon for as many games as possible. After all, he’s the club’s top playmaker, one of the league’s elite receivers and an offensive threat who keeps defensive coordinators awake at night.
To be without him for any time will drastically change Cleveland’s offense.
Gordon has not been at training camp the past two days, and Browns coach Mike Pettine said he didn’t know if the Pro Bowler will be on the field for Saturday’s scrimmage in Akron.
FAIRLEY GETS PROBATION, FINE FOR DUI: In Mobile, Ala., Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley won’t spend time in jail after being convicted of drunken driving and reckless driving in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama.
District Judge George Hardesty ordered Fairley to spend one year on probation and pay $750 in fines plus court costs during a hearing Thursday.
The judge’s order says the punishment is typical for first-time offenders, and the former Auburn standout must also attend driving school.
The convictions stemmed from Fairley’s arrest in 2012.
Fairley wasn’t in court. The judge said he accepts a defense attorney’s explanation that the player didn’t know about the hearing.
Prosecutors asked the judge to issue an arrest warrant for Fairley since he failed to appear, but Hardesty refused.
COMMINGS OUT AFTER SURGERY FOR FRACTURED FIBULA: In St. Joseph, Mo., the Kansas City Chiefs received good news on the injury to All-Pro safety Eric Berry.
Berry, who left Thursday’s training camp practice with what the team said was a sore ankle, has a right heel injury according to team spokesman Ted Crews.
Berry did not practice Friday, but was observed walking without a noticeable limp.
“There’s just letting him have a few days just to let that relax,” Crews said.
The news, however, isn’t as good surrounding second-year defensive back Sanders Commings.
“He had very similar to a high ankle sprain, but to the extreme where he needed surgery to repair that high ankle sprain,” Chiefs head athletic training Rick Burkholder said.
“As his foot externally rotated on the play, he fractured his fibula.”
JERRY RICE JR. TO HAVE SHOULDER SURGERY: In Richmond, Va., Washington Redskins receiver Jerry Rice Jr. has a torn labrum in his left shoulder and will have surgery.
Coach Jay Gruden indicated Friday that Rice will probably be placed on injured reserve.
Rice was hurt during Thursday’s practice when he fell on his shoulder while trying to catch a pass in the end zone.
Rice was undrafted out of UNLV and had tryouts with the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers this offseason before signing with the Redskins.
His father played 20 NFL seasons and is in the Hall of Fame.
SUISHAM GETS EXTENSION: In Latrobe, Pa., Shaun Suisham doesn’t seem to mind kicking at Heinz Field.
The most accurate kicker in Pittsburgh Steelers history parlayed his consistency into a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2018 season.
Financial terms for the deal, announced Friday, were not disclosed.
“Being part of the Pittsburgh Steelers, being part of this organization since I got here has been wonderful,” Suisham said. “I’m super excited and very grateful for the extension.”
The 32-year-old Suisham will make $1.425 million this season, the final year of a four-year contract signed in 2011.
TEAM UNVEILS STATUE FOR LAMBEAU LEAP: In Green Bay, Wis., the Green Bay Packers unveiled a bronze statue outside Lambeau Field that honors one of the team’s traditions.
A small crowd gathered outside Lambeau Field to catch the first glimpse of the Lambeau Leap statue on Friday.
The sculpture pays tribute to the post-touchdown celebration of a player jumping into the stands behind the end zone.
Former Packers safety LeRoy Butler is credited with starting the ritual on Dec. 26, 1993, when he jumped into the crowd after scoring a late touchdown in Green Bay’s 28-0 win over the Los Angeles Raiders.
“It was very spontaneous,” recalled Butler, who attended the ceremony Friday. “I can’t even tell a fib and say I thought about it.”