There have been rumors floating around Twitter for a couple of weeks now regarding Browns players and possible drug related suspensions. One of them has indeed come true.
According to ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is headed for trouble with the league office.
BREAKING: #Browns WR Josh Gordon will be suspended 2 games and docked 4 games pay for NFL substance abuse violation. More to come!
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) June 7, 2013
Gordon was the Browns leading receiver during his breakout rookie year where he caught 50 passes for 805 yards and five touchdowns. He is expected to take a big step forward in Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner’s new vertical passing attack. QB Brandon Weeden will be without his top target for the first two games of the regular season.
The Browns have just released the statement from the NFL offices via Media Relations Coordinator Dan Murphy:
Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns has been suspended without pay for the team’s first two regular-season games of the 2013 season and fined two additional game checks for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
Gordon will be eligible to return to the Browns’ active roster on Monday, September 16 following the team’s September 15 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Gordon is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.
This is the second prominent Cleveland athlete to come across substance issues in the past three days. Indians closer Chris Perez was charged with misdemeanor drug possession in Rocky River.
UPDATE: The Browns have just released a statement from head coach Rob Chudzinski:
“Obviously we are all disappointed in this news. In our short time with Josh, he has done everything that we’ve asked him to do and he has exhibited substantial improvement. We believe that he will continue to work diligently through training camp and the preseason. I am confident that others will step up in his absence.”
Gordon, in a statement, says that the suspension is due to medicine which was prescribed to him in lieu of strep throat.
“In February, I was diagnosed with strep throat for which a doctor prescribed antibiotics and cough medicine,” he said. “Apparently, the medicine I took contained codeine, which is prohibited by the NFL policy. The policy terms are strict about unintentional ingestion, but the NFL has not imposed the maximum punishment in light of the facts of my case. Therefore, I have chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation. I sincerely apologize for the impact on my team, coaches, and Browns fans. I look forward to working hard in training camp and pre-season, and contributing immediately when I return in week three.”