“This is the right decision for me and one that I hope will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person,” stated Gordon.
The Browns are supportive of Gordon’s choice, but executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown was unwilling to comment on how this will affect the 25-year-old’s place with the franchise. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Gordon’s future with the organization is now in doubt (Twitter link).
This will be Gordon’s second stay in rehab of 2016, writes Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Gordon also entered rehab during the offseason, franchise icon Jim Brown told Cabot. Given that he’s going into rehab, Cabot posits that Gordon may have once again violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy. If so, Gordon will face more discipline from the league, thereby putting his career in further jeopardy.
Substance abuse has long been an issue for Gordon, who is currently serving a four-game suspension. Entering this year, suspensions had cost Gordon 29 of the Browns’ previous 48 regular-season games – including all of the 2015 campaign – and the NFL denied his previous petition for reinstatement in April after he failed a drug test. Commissioner Roger Goodell then reinstated Gordon on July 25 with certain conditions. In addition to the quarter-season suspension, Gordon needed to stay on course with his treatment plan if he wanted to return in Week 5. Given Thursday’s development, it’s now possible he’ll never play another down in Cleveland or anywhere else.
“Our concern is with Josh’s well-being. We will decline comment on his status with the team,” the NFL said of Gordon’s decision to enter rehab (Twitter link via Rapoport).
When Gordon has been on the field, the ex-Baylor standout has performed like an elite-caliber wideout. In 2013 – his latest extensive action – he racked up 87 receptions, a league-leading 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games. The 2012 supplemental second-round pick has totaled 161 catches, a tremendous 17.1 yards per reception and 14 touchdowns in 32 career games.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.