The wait is over! After being out of the NFL since 2014 and suspended since September 2016 without pay for multiple violations of the NFL-NFLPA Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated by Commissioner Roger Goodell, effective immediately, the NFL announced Tuesday night.
“As emphasized at today’s meeting, everyone – including Josh’s teammates and coaches, the Browns’ ownership and organization, the Program professionals and all of us at the league office – want him to have every opportunity to resume his career and to be successful in the NFL,” said Goodell. “Whether that happens, however, at the end of the day will depend on Josh. His commitment to sobriety and to reaching his goals in football and beyond will determine his success. It ultimately is up to Josh.”
The 26-year-old can attend team meetings, engage in conditioning drills, and participate in individual workouts. On the Commissioner’s Exempt list, Gordon can begin to practice with the team on Monday, November 20 and be eligible to return to the active roster on November 27, which means he could play in Week 13.
Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown is excited to have arguably the top wide receiver on the roster back with the team. He plans to meet with Gordon to discuss his future.
“We’ve been informed of the league’s decision to reinstate Josh. The personal well-being of all our players is of the utmost importance to us. We respect and commend Josh for taking the steps necessary to have the opportunity to return to the league,” Brown said. “Josh will be in our building in the coming days and we look forward to having him back and sitting with him to discuss his future on our team.”
If the wide out is able to stay on the field, he brings a completely new dynamic to the Browns offense and fills a huge hole as well. The Browns receivers have been quite a disappoint so far this season, Gordon would be a much-needed addition. Remember, he was an All-Pro after totaling 87 receptions (159 targets) for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. His speed and playmaking ability are two things the Browns have been searching for all season in their wide receiver group.
In early October, Gordon went on UNINTERRUPTED to discuss his drug use and rehab. Less than a month later, it seems as though the receiver has gotten his biggest wish, at least in terms of football. In and out of rehab, here’s to hoping that he is on the right path, not only on the football field, but most importantly off of it.