Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated on a conditional basis from his indefinite suspension for multiple drug violations.
The NFL announced Gordon’s reinstatement Monday, saying that he will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season. He will be allowed to join the Browns at their training camp, which starts Thursday, and can participate in all team meetings and activities.
The league also announced that Gordon will be eligible to play in all of Cleveland’s preseason games once his clinical resources in Cleveland are confirmed. He will be eligible to return from his four-game suspension on Oct. 3.
Sources: Susp. WR Gordon met with Goodell
Suspended Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week to discuss his return to the NFL, according to sources.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a letter to Gordon on Monday, saying he has “every belief that [Gordon] will make the right choices.”
“As we discussed at our [July 19] meeting, as Commissioner, I want nothing more than to see you turn your circumstances around and succeed,” Goodell wrote to Gordon. “Countless others including your agent, teammates and coaches, Mr. Haslam and the leadership of the organization, the Program professionals and Jim Brown also have pledged to provide you with every resource at their disposal. But as you acknowledged, ultimately, your future is your responsibility. I have every belief that you can make the right choices, but it will be up to you to do so.”
Gordon was suspended two games in 2013, 10 games in 2014 and for the entire 2015 season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
He was denied reinstatement in April after reports he failed a drug test because of a diluted samples that also tested positive for marijuana. The level of marijuana did not meet the NFL’s threshold for suspension, but the diluted samples are considered the same as a positive test.
At the time, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Gordon’s possible reinstatement would be delayed until the league feels comfortable that he has 60-90 days of no “red-flag tests.”
The Browns have continually said they will not address Gordon’s situation until the league decides whether Gordon will be reinstated. The Browns would then sit down and talk with Gordon and assess his frame of mind and attitude before making any decision on taking him back.
If the Browns retain Gordon, his first regular-season game would be against the New England Patriots in Week 5 — the same day that Tom Brady would be eligible to return from his four-game Deflategate suspension.
Gordon, 25, has 161 receptions for 2,754 yards and 14 touchdowns in 35 career games, all with the Browns. He emerged as one of the NFL’s top receivers in his Pro Bowl 2013 season, when he had a league-leading 1,646 receiving yards and caught nine touchdowns.
ESPN’s Pat McManamon contributed to this report.