Gordon's season-long suspension was reduced to 10 games last Friday when the new agreement on drug testing and discipline between the NFL and NFL Players Association was announced.
"If a guy was out for the year, all of a sudden you get a chance to get him back at the end, it's a big plus for us," Pettine said Monday. "At the same time, I think it's important we just not talk about Josh Gordon the player. We're talking about the person and making sure that we're well aware of the human element here.
"It's not just we have good player back for six games. We talk about building long-term, sustained success here and making sure that we're getting him everything he needs is just as big a part of it as what he can on the field for us."
Gordon had been suspended for a positive marijuana test in the offseason. It evidently was his fourth failed test in the NFL program because 10 games is the new sanction for a fourth test.
He appealed the suspension, attributing his low test level to secondhand smoke. Under the present guidelines, Gordon's test would not have been a positive.
Pettine said Gordon was in the facility on Saturday, but he cannot attend games. Under the old rules, he was allowed in the building as part of his treatment program, but now can be present to lift and to attend meetings, as well. He cannot practice with the team.
Pettine said he talked briefly with Gordon on Saturday but that Gordon has had formal meetings about the future with general manager Ray Farmer.
"I'll be very much in the loop as far as our plans with Josh," Pettine said. "I did have a good visit with him. ... Being the head coach, I'm tasked with dealing with the guys who are available to play. But we'll get a plan in place for him and be ready to move forward."