BEREA, Ohio -- Most of the attention at the Cleveland Browns' training camp opener Saturday was on quarterback Johnny Manziel as the No. 2 quarterback behind Brian Hoyer.
But perhaps just as significant in terms of expectations on the field was the fact that wide receiver Josh Gordon was working out with the second and third stringers, no doubt a harbinger of what the team expects for its bad-boy star.
This is hardly befitting a player who blew up the stats the last two seasons with 137 catches for 2,451 yards -- an amazing 18 yards per grab -- and 14 touchdowns.
But whoever wins that quarterback battle for the Browns probably won't enjoy the services of Gordon.
The Browns won't find out for at least two weeks if Gordon will be allowed to play, which is why he wasn't in the mix often with the first team Saturday.
For the full house of fans at Saturday's practice, there was a hint of what might have been. Gordon already showed a connection with Hoyer in two full games last year
On Saturday, Hoyer and Gordon teased the crowd by showing more of their chemistry. Hoyer connected with Gordon on several passes over the middle. Another time Hoyer found Gordon open on the right side. The pass fell incomplete when it went off Gordon's fingertips.
Not to be ignored, Manziel had success with Gordon as well. He tossed a touch pass to Gordon in the left middle of the field and another on the left sideline that reflected just what the Browns will be missing when/if he is suspended. Gordon made the catch with his hands extended, pulled the ball to his body and in two strides was at full speed on his way to the goal line.
But Gordon is looking at a lengthy ban for repeated violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy, and he has an appeal hearing scheduled for Aug. 1, after which he'll learn if he will miss the entire season or if he might be allowed to return at some point in 2014. If he loses the appeal, Gordon would have to apply for reinstatement after a year.
And this isn't anything new. He served a two-game suspension last year, and he was arrested three weeks ago on a charge of driving while intoxicated in North Carolina.
Coach Mike Pettine believes it is important to keep Gordon involved, despite the possibility of an indefinite suspension
"I think you have to because you just hear everything that could possibly happen," Pettine said. "You don't want to get yourself in a situation where you start with him in a certain way, and then you're just waiting for the news. Until we get it, it truly is business as usual."
Gordon reportedly tested positive for marijuana during the winter. The story came to light on May 9, the second day of the draft. The Browns did not draft a wide receiver.
Owner Jimmy Haslam said Saturday that cutting Gordon is not now and never has been an option. No surprise considering those 18 yards per catch.
According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, Gordon checked into a rehab facility after his DUI arrest in North Carolina earlier this month. That probably won't help him avoid suspension, but it might be something that gives the Browns hope for his future.