NFL Reinstates WR Josh Gordon

The NFL is greenlighting another Josh Gordon chance. The league informed the embattled wide receiver he will be reinstated, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, who adds Gordon is expected to be eligible to play in Week 4 (Twitter link).

Gordon applied for yet another reinstatement in July. He has not played since the 2019 season, when a suspension ended his active-roster run with the Seahawks, and is eight years removed from his All-Pro campaign. But the veteran wideout has persisted, with the NFL’s relaxed drug policy benefiting these repeated comeback efforts.

Now 30, Gordon is certainly not the player he once was. And the ex-Browns standout is one of the most unreliable performers in modern NFL history. He has not played a full season since his 2012 rookie year. Gordon played in the startup Fan Controlled Football league earlier this year, joining ex-teammate Johnny Manziel. While it looked like Gordon’s NFL career was over at that point, he has battled back yet again for reinstatement.

The Seahawks showed considerable patience with Gordon, keeping him on their roster throughout 2020. It looked like a Gordon return would commence for last year’s Seattle squad. The NFL reinstated him in December 2020, paving the way for a late-season Seahawks return. The team activated him in late December, but another substance-abuse setback nixed that path. After the NFL rescinded Gordon’s 2020 reinstatement, the Seahawks released Gordon earlier this year.

Gordon will be eligible to sign with any team, though widespread interest is unlikely. He caught 27 passes for 426 yards and one touchdown in 2019, splitting the year in New England and Seattle. Gordon showed superstar potential as a young player, and his 14-game 2013 season still sits sixth on the NFL’s receiving yards-per-game list (117.6). But he missed most of the 2014 season due to a substance-abuse ban and did not play in 2015 or ’16. The NFL did not reinstate Gordon until December 2017, and although he finished that season with the Browns, he did not make it through the ’18 slate with the Patriots, who waived him midway through the 2019 season. Gordon made it through five games with the Seahawks before his 2019 ban, which included a PED violation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

View Comments (40)