July 1, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Browns: Gordon still concerned about trade

BEREA — Coach Rob Chudzinski backed up his quote to the media Monday with a text to receiver Josh Gordon.

The message was the same: The Browns don’t plan to trade Gordon.

“Regardless, I’m still just going to have to come out here and practice until I get the call, if that ever happens, for a trade,” Gordon said Wednesday. “But the fact that he said there wasn’t, it makes me feel a little more comfortable. At the same time, anything can happen.”

Gordon said no one from the front office approached him about the trade rumors, but Chudzinski sent a message.

“He texted me the other day talking about it and just reassuring me there were no trade offers or anything like that,” Gordon said.

ESPN reported Sunday morning before the win over Minnesota that the Browns were trying to trade Gordon. According to the report, at least one team had made a quality offer but the Browns wouldn’t make a trade unless it improved.

Gordon heard about the reports before the game, then caught 10 passes for 146 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown. He said afterward he had wanted to prove himself to the organization.

He acknowledged Wednesday the possibility of a deal will be in the back of his mind until the league’s trading deadline passes Oct. 29 at 4 p.m.

“I guess after what happened with Trent, I think that’s probably the way it’s going for a lot of these guys,” Gordon said, referring to last week’s trade of running back Trent Richardson that stunned the locker room. “You’re going to think about it until the deadline definitely happens.”

No ordinary Joe

Left tackle Joe Thomas is slated to play in his 100th game Sunday. He has played all 6,054 snaps since joining the Browns in 2007, the league’s longest active stretch.

“I’m starting to feel old now that I’m in triple digits,” Thomas said. “I’m starting to feel like Doug Dieken.”

Dieken, the team’s radio analyst, was a left tackle for the Browns from 1971-84 and is fourth in franchise history with 203 games. Thomas’ 99 straight starts are tied for third among active streaks by offensive linemen.

Injury report

Linebacker Jabaal Sheard (knee sprain) didn’t practice and wasn’t on the field during the half-hour open to reporters. Chudzinski didn’t rule him out for Sunday. No. 1 draft pick Barkevious Mingo would get his first start if Sheard can’t go.

• Kicker Billy Cundiff (thigh) rode the stationary bike and worked with trainers but didn’t kick.

“As the week progresses, we’ll see how it goes,” Chudzinski said. “We have a plan and we’ll be OK there.”

The Browns would likely sign a kicker to face the Bengals, although punter Spencer Lanning is a possibility to fill in. He made two field goals in the preseason finale and the final extra point Sunday.

• Right guards Shawn Lauvao (ankle) and Oniel Cousins (chest) were limited. Lauvao is trying to return to the starting lineup this week after missing the first three games following arthroscopic ankle surgery Aug. 9. After being extremely limited last week in his return to practice, he hit the blocking sled and worked in combination with other linemen.

• Defensive lineman Billy Winn (quadriceps) and outside linebacker Quentin Groves (ankle) didn’t practice and weren’t on the field. Neither was ruled out on the injury report, but Groves is still in a walking boot.

• For the Bengals, cornerbacks Leon Hall and Dre Kirkpatrick and safety Reggie Nelson didn’t practice with hamstring injuries. Cornerback Terence Newman (knee) was limited.

Little is busy

Receiver Greg Little returned an NFL kickoff for the first time against the Vikings, going 26 yards. He was the lone returner the whole game, but the rest of the kicks sailed out of the end zone. Chudzinski said Little will keep the job this week. Little returned 27 kickoffs at the University of North Carolina with an 18.8 average. He also played running back before switching to receiver.

Brown’s take

Hall of Famer Jim Brown, a special adviser for the team, ripped former president Mike Holmgren and defended the Richardson trade during an appearance on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” on Wednesday night. Brown was estranged from the team for a couple of years after Holmgren cut his pay and tried to change his job in 2010.

“They were going to clean house,” Brown said. “And he had all his boys that were going to come in and take advantage of the kind of money that he could pay his guys. And never really be there. He took advantage of Randy (Lerner) and it was just a shame. Randy’s a good guy. Young owner. Wanted someone to take the pressure off of him. Mike came in, saw the weakness and took advantage of it.”

Extra point

Lanning was named special teams player of the week in the AFC. He had a net of 46.8 yards on five punts, with a career-long 56-yarder and two inside the 20-yard line. He also threw an 11-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal and kicked the last extra point to become the first NFL player since Sam Baker in 1968 with a punt, extra point and touchdown pass in a game.

Contact Scott Petrak at (440) 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.