Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been conditionally reinstated by the NFL to return to all team activities. Gordon hasn’t played in an NFL game since Week 16 of the 2014 season.
Gordon, when available to play, has been outstanding for a not-so-good Browns. The Browns are a combined 15-58 since the beginning of the 2014 season, including an 0-9 start this year. Gordon had a career year in 2013, catching 87 passes for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 117.6 receiving yards per game and was named to the Pro Bowl.
If the NFL, or a professional sports leagues in general, were all about on-the-field performance, then Gordon would have been playing for the last two years. However, Gordon has had a troubled career off the field, leading to a variety of suspensions that have pushed him out of the league. As a result, he would have to apply for reinstatement.
Here is a look at the events leading up to Gordon’s suspension as well as his reinstatement:
June 7, 2013: Gordon is suspended for the first two games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
July 5, 2014: Gordon is arrested for suspicion of driving impaired, with a blood-alcohol content of .09.
August 27, 2014: Gordon violates league’s substance abuse policy again, leading to a yearlong suspension.
December 27, 2014: Gordon is suspended by the Browns for one game due to a violation of team rules.
January 25, 2015: Gordon tests positive for alcohol, and faces another yearlong suspension.
February 3, 2015: Gordon is suspended for a year again.
April 12, 2016: Gordon’s application for reinstatement is denied after failing drug test.
July 25, 2016: Gordon is reinstated to return to training camp, although he must miss first four games of season.
September 29, 2016: Gordon decides to enter rehab rather than return from suspension.
May 11, 2017: Gordon’s petition for reinstatement denied.
November 1, 2017: Gordon reinstated on conditional basis.
In a recent interview with GQ, Gordon admitted to getting drunk or high before almost every game he has ever played in for the Browns. “I would have these little pre-made shots. I used to love Grand Marnier. I could drink it down smooth. I could usually drink a lot of it. But if it wasn’t that, it might be whiskey or something. And I would drink probably like half a glass, or a couple of shots to try and warm my system up, basically. To get the motor running. That’s what I would do for games,” said Gordon to GQ.
Gordon has been given a second chance to return to the sport he loves, as long as he can keep himself under control. Hopefully he’s made life-changing moves to help him return to that 2013 player he was on the field, minus the substance help. He will first be able to return to the Browns facility to attend meetings and perform individual workouts. As part of the reinstatement, he can start practicing with the Browns on Nov. 20, and then become eligible to play in Week 13 of this NFL regular season.