Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon announced that he is submitting himself into rehabilitation on Thursday. He was about to rejoin the team next week after a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy multiple times.
In an official statement released by the team, Gordon said, “After careful thought and deep consideration I’ve decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility. 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. I appreciate the support of the NFL, NFLPA, The Browns, my teammates, my agent and the community through this extremely challenging process.”
Sashi Brown, the team’s executive VP for football operations likewise released a statement following Gordon saying, “We support Josh in taking this step to seek additional help and treatment. His singular focus must be on his own health. We want nothing more than for Josh to be successful personally and professionally and will not comment on his status with the organization at this time.”
On the other hand, Coach Hue Jackson called it “unfortunate.” In an interview with The Browns radio network he said, “I think Josh needs to do what’s best for Josh, I think we all support him 100 percent. We want the best for him, but we understand at this time he won’t be with us, and we move forward from there.”
Although Gordon did not indicate why he is seeking treatment, rehab is no longer new for him. After all, this is at least his third time getting into rehabilitation. The first time was in 2014 after a DUI and the second time was this off-season. Gordon was also suspended for the entire 2015 season for multiple violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policies. He was only reinstated conditionally on July 25 by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
As per Gordon’s status with The Browns, they did not directly address his future with the team although it would be tough to see him staying given all that has happened off the field. Furthermore, The NFL in a brief statement said that their “concern is with Josh’s well-being” and declined to further comment.