BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns are hopeful wide receiver Josh Gordon's return from a two-game suspension will spark an offense that has scored only one touchdown in the first two games.
Gordon led the Browns in yards receiving (805) and touchdown catches (five) in 2012. He caught more than a third of the 14 touchdown passes Brandon Weeden threw last season.
"I definitely think I can put my talent out there for the best use of the team," Gordon said. "Hopefully we can go a long way with it. I don't want to make it seem like it's just about me or anything like that.
"We've got a great offense. We've got a bunch of great guys. I just want to be an extra piece of the puzzle to help us put it all together."
Brian Hoyer will start at quarterback in place of injured Brandon Weeden. He does not have Weeden's arm strength, which could minimize the effect of Gordon's return.
Nevertheless, Gordon would immediately become the Browns' No. 1 receiver again and take attention away from third-year player Greg Little, a second-round draft choice from North Carolina.
Little dropped 12 passes as a rookie in 2011 and he's dropping passes again this year (four already) at an alarming rate. He dropped only six last year when opponents had to worry about Gordon.
Little has been demoted from his starting role, coach Rob Chudzinski announced Wednesday, but will play in a substitute role against the Vikings.
Gordon attended team meetings during his suspension but was not allowed to practice. He watched games on television and said he envisioned himself on the field. He said not playing was very difficult.
"Just being taken away from it is a humbling experience for me," Gordon said. "I found an appreciation for the game. The absence of it makes the heart grow fonder in a sense. That's really what it's about for me right now."
Gordon acknowledged if he violates the league's substance abuse policy one more time he will face a season-long suspension. The NFL did not detail his recent violation, but Gordon said he took doctor-prescribed cough syrup with the banned substance codeine in it in February when he had strep throat.
"I feel like it's a last chance opportunity for me in the league," Gordon said. "Nobody wants a problematic type of person in their program or their organization because of how they're perceived to be. So I definitely want to stay away from controversy as long as I can, forever. That's definitely my goal."
Gordon tested positive for marijuana three times in college -- twice at Baylor and once at Utah. He did not play college football in 2011 because Baylor kicked him off the team. He transferred to Utah and then decided to enter the 2012 supplemental draft.
Former general manager Tom Heckert knew Gordon could be a high-risk, high-reward pick -- the Browns used a 2013 second-round pick to select him -- but after talking to those who know Gordon, Heckert became convinced Gordon could stay clean. Just in case, though, Heckert and former team president Mike Holmgren kept a close eye on Gordon. Now that support is gone.
"Nobody should be a caretaker for me at this point in my life," Gordon said. "I should be seen as a grown man and have the responsibility for the actions I'm taking. I have to look at it as I can't really just expect to have somebody there for me always being in my ear and to tell me this and that. You just have to know right from wrong."
Last month, two months after the league announced he would be suspended for the first two games, Gordon was ticketed for driving 98 mph in a 60 mph zone.