Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has seemed to be on the right track since being reinstated by the NFL last fall.
However as of Monday morning, Gordon announced via Twitter in a statement that he will not be with the team when training camp opens on Thursday.
“To my Cleveland Browns and NFL family,
I am reaching out to you all personally and letting you know that I am not only doing great physically but mentally as well. You will notice that I will not be in CLeveland for the start of training camp. Rest assured this too is a part of my overall health and treatment plan. I appreciate the awesome support I have received from teammates, friends, fans and the Browns organization. Just like you, I am excited to start the season and I have every intention of being ready and available to join my teammates soon to help bring winning football to our fans.
With the help of the NFL, NFLPA, and the Browns’ organization, I have been able to utilize the resources available to me that will ensure my well-being on and off the field. By continuing to follow the plan set up by our medical director and his team and taking the time before the season starts, we believe it will help me maintain the progress I’ve made for not only today but for many years to come.
Thank you all for your patience, love and support! Go Browns!
Browns general manager John Dorsey also released a statement regarding Gordon
“We will continue to support Josh as he receives the care needed to maintain progress. We are going to respect his privacy while he is away from the team. Josh will be placed on the non-football illness reserve list until he is ready to return.”
Of course if you follow the Browns or Josh Gordon individually, you know his story and what has happened during his young and brief NFL career since Cleveland selected him in the 2012 Supplemental draft.
In the 40 games Gordon has been available to play in, he’s had 179 catches for 3,089 yards and 15 touchdowns. His 2013 season was one of the best seasons by a wide receiver with 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games played. He earned first team All-Pro and a Pro Bowl selection for that year.
It’s the time Gordon has missed off the field that’s been the issue throughout his career.
- He missed two games in 2013 due to a violation of the substance-abuse policy for using codeine syrup.
- He missed the opening ten games to the 2014 season for once again violating the substance-abuse policy after testing positive for marijuana.
- He was suspended for the 2014 season finale for violating team rules.
- He was suspended for the 2015 season for once again violating the substance-abuse policy after testing positive for alcohol
- Reinstated in July of 2016, Gordon was suspended the first four games of the 2016 season by the NFL.
- Upon his return, Gordon checked into rehab in September 2016
- He applied for reinstatement in March of 2017, that was denied on May 11, 2017
- Reinstated on November 1, 2017 on a conditional basis, Gordon returned for Week 13 against San Diego.
Through it all, Gordon has missed 56 games during his six-year career yet the organization has stood beside him through it all.
For those wondering if this is a pre-cursor to a potential suspension for another failed drug test, the NFL Network is saying no to that suggestion:
I’m sure Browns fans have to be worried about this and with every good reason to be worried because we’ve been down this road so many times with Gordon in the past six years but we all should’ve known this could happen.
Addiction is a serious struggle for anyone that has gone through it and the chances of a relapse can happen at any time. The NFL and the Browns are supporting Gordon through what he’s gone through but it’s also up to Josh to continue to make progress with his life and his sobriety.
I would say that if you are a Browns fan and also a Josh Gordon fan to support the man and the person while he continues to make strides in his life and not worry about the football player that could help the Browns chances to win in this upcoming season.
Remember at the end of the day that football is just a sport and and an entertainment aspect for people but that the athletes are regular human beings and have the same issues normal people have every single day.