The Redskins have long had uncertainty at the wide receiver position, but after an injury to a projected starter, they may want to consider making an addition.
Earlier today, it was reported by NFL insider Ian Rapoport, and confirmed by various local reporters, that Washington Redskins second-year wide receiver Kelvin Harmon had torn his ACL during pre-training camp workouts with teammates. Harmon had successful surgery, but the injury nevertheless registered as a major blow, as Harmon proved himself as a reliable target last year, and was slated to grow in 2020.
Now, the Redskins’ receiving core is only getting thinner. It’s worth noting that Harmon tore his ACL about a month before this announcement, which means the team has had ample opportunity to sign reinforcements, and opted not to thus far. But that doesn’t rule out potential signings in the future, and if you’re hip with Instagram, you might have seen an interesting interaction relevant to this discussion.
On an Instagram report of Harmon’s injury, former Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, and Seattle Seahawks receiver Josh Gordon relayed his interest in signing with the Redskins by posting a single “eyeball” emoji. Dwayne Haskins then responded directly to Gordon, reciprocating the gesture.
Gordon, otherwise known as “Flash”, is perhaps best known for his tumultuous NFL career to this point. He was originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft. That move by Cleveland was immediately indicative of Gordon’s talent, as teams rarely use early-round picks on supplemental selections.
Gordon went on to quickly prove his mettle in the NFL. By year two, he was an All-Pro receiver, peaking in 2013 with 87 receptions, 1,646 yards, and nine touchdowns, for a whopping 18.9 yards per catch. And that was with Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer as his quarterback.
Of course, Gordon wouldn’t stay at the pinnacle of the sport for long. Gordon had multiple recurring substance abuse violations which prevented him from maintaining his availability. In 2015 and 2016, he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for repeated violations. He entered a rehabilitation program in September of 2016.
Gordon was again reinstated in 2017, but since then, his path has still been rocky. He stood out for the Patriots in 2018, nabbing 40 catches for 720 yards and three touchdowns, but in 2019, he was again suspended, this time for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. As it stands, he’s still in the midst of applying for reinstatement, now 29 years old.
From a pure talent perspective, Gordon would be a massive get for the Redskins, but the inconsistency of his off-field record makes him a very risky proposition for Ron Rivera, who’s tasked with establishing a stable culture. The Redskins, at the start of a rebuild, don’t seem like the kind of team that can afford to take a chance on Gordon, regardless of his talent. So far, it seems as though they recognize that. But will things change?