Browns activate WR Josh Gordon off NFI list

Josh Gordon took the next leap in his return.

The Cleveland Browns officially moved the receiver off the non-football injury list.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said this means he's "cleared to return to all activities, including games."

Clearing Gordon for all activities sets the stage for a potential return to playing field in the Browns' opening week, if he's in shape. 

A move to the active list was necessitated before Gordon could be involved in an on-field walkthrough on Saturday, as coach Hue Jackson indicated on Friday.

"Josh Gordon will be at practice every day, but you are asking if he will be practicing. Probably -- again he is into the second phase of where I want him to be," Jackson said Friday, via The Plain Dealer. "He'll definitely be involved in walk-throughs now. How much he does will be in proportion of what I see and where he is."

Gordon is dealing with tightness in his hamstrings and did not practice on Saturday, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland.com. Jackson told reporters that Gordon "more than likely" will not be playing Thursday for the team's final preseason game vs. the Lions.

The dynamic receiver was on the sideline Thursday for the team's preseason win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Gordon returned to the team last week after staying away for nearly a month to focus on personal issues related to his health and well-being. He missed Cleveland's entire training camp.

Getting Gordon back would completely transform the Browns receiving corps. The tandem of Gordon and Jarvis Landry would be one of the top duos in the NFL, if Gordon returns to form. The 6-foot-3 sliding into a starting role would push rookie Antonio Callaway and Rashard Higgins, who has impressed this preseason, into more natural roles. 

Taking Gordon off the NFI list might be a bookkeeping move, but it's a necessary step to getting one of the most dynamic players in the NFL back on the playing field.