The Sports Xchange

NFL Team Report - Cleveland Browns - INSIDE SLANT

Gordon's appeal linked to second-hand smoke

Wide receiver Josh Gordon and his attorney will argue in an appeal to the NFL on Friday that second-hand smoke resulted in a failed drug test.

Gordon is working with Maurice Suh, the lawyer who assisted Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman in his case against the NFL in 2012. Sherman's four-game suspension was waived.

Gordon is facing a one-year suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy for a third time. If the suspension is upheld, he will not be able to apply for reinstatement until one year has passed.

According to, Gordon was just over the threshold with his failed test with one of his samples. A second sample was more than a nanogram per milliliter below the cutoff line. His legal team plans to call witnesses to testify that the scores are an indication of second-hand smoke. reported that Gordon has passed 70 or more drug tests since last year when he entered Stage II of the NFL's drug program.

Gordon missed the first two games of the 2013 season after a positive test for a banned substance, which he said was codeine from cough syrup.

Gordon's July 5 arrest in North Carolina for DWI will have no impact on his appeal Friday, according to

--Training camp opened for the Browns on Saturday morning and, as advertised, Brian Hoyer took reps with the first team. Rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel worked with the second unit.

The plan is to continue that format on Sunday. After that head coach Mike Pettine will meet with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to decide whether Manziel should start working some with the first team.

"We'll still be able to evaluate Johnny with the Twos," Pettine said. "Right now, even coming out of spring, it's more Manziel vs. the playbook. I think that's true for any rookie. We don't want him to try to mentally jump ahead. Let's master the system first before he worries about the quarterback competition."

The Browns' training complex in Berea, Ohio, was filled to capacity for the first open practice of the summer.

Hoyer was eager to get things going; he was restricted in 11-on-11 drills during minicamp last month because he was recovering from a torn ACL suffered Oct 3 last year. He looked sharp throwing the ball Saturday, especially when he was hooking up with tight end Jordan Cameron or slot receiver Alex Hawkins.

"Obviously, there's a competition, but I think for the most part I'm competing with myself," Hoyer said. "That's the way I look at it. That's what drives me every day to be the best player that I can.

" To have just a taste of it last year and to have it ripped away, it makes you realize how much you love the game and how much it means to you to have something taken away from you like that, especially when you've waited for an opportunity for a long time. It drove me for the past nine months, and it will continue to drive me, but like I said, I think the thing that drives me most is my willingness to try to be the best, and I strive for that every day."

Manziel said he does not feel like an underdog. He showed touch on a deep pass to Taylor Gabriel in a seven-on-seven drill Saturday and proved he can fit the ball into tight spaces when he zipped the ball to Charles Johnson over the middle and another to Nate Burleson on the right side of the field.

"I know for me, personally, I came out a little slow, just bouncing around a little bit," Manziel said. "Then, as we got into some team periods, we started moving the ball a little bit. It was good to see.