The last time Josh Gordon played in an NFL game was Dec. 21, 2014. And it will be a while longer before the NFL allows him back in the league.
Gordon applied for reinstatement from his latest suspension and was denied by the NFL, according to USA Today’s Tom Pelissero. He is allowed to apply for reinstatement again in the fall, Pelissero said. Depending what exact date the NFL sets, it could be well into the regular season before Gordon can even ask the league again if he can return to play receiver for the Cleveland Browns. For a player who has missed two straight full seasons due to suspensions for substance-abuse policy violations, missing an entire offseason with the team, training camp and preseason would be a huge blow.
Gordon, an All-Pro and NFL leader in receiving yards in 2013, has massive talent. He has a new trainer and a new agent. He appears to be in ridiculously good shape. None of that matters if the NFL won’t let him play.
Gordon is a cautionary tale. Unlike Justin Blackmon, another troubled receiver who faded away fairly quietly, Gordon wants back in the NFL. Last year he was set to return, but had a reported relapse, was suspended four games and entered rehab. He has had drug issues dating back to a rocky college career, and it has derailed a promising NFL career.
Although Gordon has remained in our consciousness over the past few years, it has been for the wrong reasons, and now his NFL return has been put off again. Gordon is still young, but it feels like his chance to reestablish a football career is fading away.
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