Before you ask, though, no, he can’t be traded to your favorite team in time to help out this season.
Josh Gordon playing wide receiver again for the Cleveland Browns was a thing that seemed like it would never happen. All of a sudden, though, that possibility is closer than ever.
Multiple news outlets reported today that Gordon had been conditionally reinstated by the NFL.
As usual, Ian Rapaport of NFL Network and NFL.com was among the first to break the news.
The NFL later released a statement describing in slightly more detail what the “conditional” portion of Gordon’s reinstatement entails. The league also clarified when he could return to practice and be activated by the Browns.
As noted in the NFL statement, Gordon was suspended indefinitely early last season for his status as a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy. He was only a week away from possible reinstatement last fall when he chose to enter an inpatient rehab facility in order to get his problems under control.
However, the wide receiver actually got into trouble much earlier than that, and has not played at all since the 2014 season. Despite that, he’s only 26 years old and immensely talented, which is why it was no surprise that the Browns also released a statement indicating their willingness to work with Gordon.
Considering the Cleveland receiving corps consists of underachieving journeymen like Kenny Britt and inexperienced players like Ricardo Louis and Rashard Higgins, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the team activate Gordon for games later this season and see where he’s at physically and emotionally. What the team can’t do is trade him to a contender in need of receiving help, as the NFL trade deadline has already passed.
A video published on Uninterrupted last month painted Gordon as a much more sympathetic figure than some previous accounts, making him appear like a person who honestly wanted to get his substance issues under control. Fans usually love a good redemption story, and it now looks like Gordon will get a chance to write one and the Browns may help him with its first chapter.