Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been conditionally reinstated to the NFL, the league announced Wednesday.
The gifted 26 year old has been plagued with substance abuse issues and has not played in a game since December of 2014. He had been suspended indefinitely since September 2016 without pay.
The league said that, effective immediately, Gordon may join the Browns to attend meetings and engage in conditioning work and individual workouts.
Subject to compliance with clinical and other requirements, he will be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list and be permitted to practice with the team beginning on November 20th. He could be returned to active status by the end of the month and might be able to play in Cleveland’s final few games to close out the year.
Commissioner Roger Goodell notified #Browns WR Josh Gordon today that he will be reinstated to the NFL on a conditional basis. He’s back.
“We’ve been informed of the league’s decision to reinstate Josh,” Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown said. “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.”
Gordon has been in and out of rehab over the past year.
“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 commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. “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.”
Here’s hoping that Gordon is able to shake his past demons and resume a career that once looked to have a limitless upward trajectory. This might be his final chance to prove that he can do it. Hopefully, his story, despite the pitfalls and struggles, will have a happy ending.