One day after the Cleveland Browns second preseason game, one of their top playmakers has returned to the team. Wide receiver Josh Gordon took to Twitter Saturday morning to announce that he will return to the Browns after he left the team on July 23, shortly before training camp kicked off for a leave of absence to focus on his “overall mental and physical health”.
Dear Cleveland Browns and NFL family,
“Thank you for your love, support, and most importantly your patience as I took the time needed to ensure my overall mental and physical health.
“More specifically, I would like to thank the NFL, NFLPA, the entire Cleveland Browns organization, the University of Florida, and my friend and business manager Michael Johnson Jr for playing such pivotal roles during this process. This has by no means been an easy road and I’m extremely grateful to have all of you in my life.
“As I humbly return to being a member of this team with an opportunity to get back to playing this game I love, I realize in order for me to reach my full potential my primary focus must remain on my sobriety and mental well-being.
“Let’s get to work!
Soon after, general manager John Dorsey released a statement, admitting that while he is excited to have the wideout back, the Browns will gradually work Gordon back into practice.
“First off, we are pleased for Josh. His overall health and well-being is what is most important. We commend Josh for his hard work, commitment and focus on becoming the best version of himself,” Dorsey said.
“We are glad Josh has reached a point where he can return to our organization, be in our building and be around his teammates. As he assimilates back to our team, Josh will initially participate in meetings and conditioning and will gradually resume all football activities as deemed appropriate.”
Although he has announced that he has returned to his team, it’s not clear when he will return to practice or even game action. With two preseason games remaining, he still has some time to get back to Berea, practice with his teammates, and get acclimated with new offensive coordinator Todd Haley and his playbook. It may take some time for Gordon to get fully acclimated, but his return to the team is some very positive news for the Browns nonetheless.
Having not played in a game since 2014, the 27-year-old returned to the field late in 2017 after he was reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The wide receiver had 18 receptions (42 targets) for 335 yards and one touchdown in five games last season. With the addition of Jarvis Landry and the development of playmakers such as David Njoku, Rashard Higgins, and Duke Johnson, Gordon could shine if he can stay on the field in 2018 (and beyond).
Gordon’s sobriety and getting right off the field is of upmost importance, but having him back with the Browns is a huge addition for a team that has already seemingly improved dramatically since their 0-16 campaign one season ago.