Rumors are swirling after Josh Gordon announced he would miss the start of Browns training camp. However, one thing is very clear: there is no suspension.
Josh Gordon, the mercurial Browns wide receiver, sent a blaze through the NFL when he announced he would not be present for the start of training camp. Gordon was a second round supplemental pick of the Browns in 2012, and has been a part of the team ever since. He broke out in 2013 after putting up 87 catches for 1,646 yards and 9 touchdowns – in just 14 games. The yardage total led the NFL, and Gordon earned First Team All-Pro honors for his incredible season.
Since that amazing season, Gordon has struggled to get on the field. In 2014, the NFL suspended him for 10 games for breaking the substance abuse policy. Those six games were fairly lackluster, but they were the last the Browns would see of Gordon for three years. Gordon missed the entire 2015 season due to suspension, then stepped away in 2016 to seek mental rehabilitation. In 2017, the NFL finally reinstated Gordon on a conditional basis. In 5 games, he put up 18 catches for 335 yards and 1 touchdown.
Because of his past issues, Gordon’s announcement this season was particularly worrying for some fans. Not only is Gordon missing training camp, but the Browns have also placed him on the non-football injury list. Normally, a move like that would suggest an impeding action. In Gordon’s case, it could be a year-long suspension.
However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Gordon simply seems to be taking his time in starting his season, ensuring he is both physically and mentally ready for the season. Given what has happened in years past, that is a smart plan for him. The Browns also seem to be giving Gordon his space by placing him on the NFI list. Dorsey, speaking for the Browns, threw his support to Gordon. Also, the NFL confirmed that there is no suspension coming for Gordon and no new positive substance tests.
If Gordon missed games against the Bengals, that would help the Bengals out. However, it is much more important that Gordon gets his life in order and his substance abuse under control. Hopefully, this breather before training camp is all he needs to straighten things out. Gordon is an immeasurably talented player – it would be a shame to see his career go to waste permanently.