Remember Josh Gordon? We won’t blame you if you have. Four years ago, Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards and was named to his first Pro Bowl. At 22 years old, he looked like a budding superstar and a Cleveland Browns cornerstone.
Since then, Gordon has been arrested, failed many drug tests, been suspended from the NFL several times, entered rehab and been denied reinstatement on multiple occasions.
On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Gordon had finally been conditionally reinstated. He will be eligible to join Cleveland’s active roster by the end of the month.
Browns WR Josh Gordon conditionally reinstated. He’s eligible to practice on November 20th, be on the 53-man roster November 27th.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 1, 2017
Browns executive Sashi Brown said in a statement that the team will speak to Gordon in the coming days to decide whether to keep him around. Via ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
“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. 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.”
Brown has taken quite a ride to get to this point. He was suspended for most of the 2014 season following an arrest for driving while impaired in July of that year. A number of failed drug tests cost him the entire 2015 season… and the entire 2016 season. He has been denied reinstatement several times, most recently this past May. But now, finally, he has (conditional) permission to return to the field.
It’s basically impossible to know what the Browns can expect from Gordon if he returns. He was an excellent receiver in 2013, but his play fell off in 2014, and he hasn’t been on the field since. Maybe he’s in great shape and ready to return to the level he once reached or maybe years of absence from the NFL have withered away his potential. Either way, he’s only 26 years old, so he’s worth a shot for an ever-struggling Browns team.
If the Browns put Gordon on their roster, he will be eligible to play in the final five games of the season.