Browns open to Gordon’s return

Published 1:36 am Friday, February 26, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — If Josh Gordon is reinstated by the NFL, the Cleveland Browns appear ready to have the wide receiver return to the team.

Sashi Brown, the Browns’ executive vice president of football operations, said Thursday at the NFL combine that a meeting involving himself, new coach Hue Jackson and Gordon would help determine Gordon’s future in Cleveland.

Gordon was suspended for the 2015 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He applied for reinstatement last month and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will rule on that application.

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According to league policy, for Gordon to be reinstated he will have to demonstrate sustained abstinence during his suspension.

“Everything that we see and hear, and talking to his representation, and those who have been in communication with him, is that he’s eager to get back and contribute,” Brown said. “And so I think if he’s done all the things to put himself in that position and clean up some of the mistakes of the past, then certainly we would welcome him back.”

Gordon also was barred for 10 games in 2014 under the same policy, then the Browns suspended him for the final game of that season. In 2013, he was suspended for the first two games.

When he has been on the field, though, he’s been productive. In 2013, Gordon set a team record with 1,646 yards receiving.

However, he hasn’t been able to stay out of trouble.

After Gordon pleaded guilty to driving while impaired on July 5, 2014, in Raleigh, North Carolina, he was required to submit to alcohol testing under the third stage of the league’s mandated program. Gordon said he drank on a flight to Las Vegas a few days after the 2014 season ended and failed a subsequent test. Gordon had assumed any restrictions ended after the season, but he didn’t clarify that with the league.

Gordon was initially suspended for the 2014 season after testing positive for marijuana. His penalty was later reduced to 10 games after the league and NFLPA changed their substance abuse policies.

Gordon had to sit out the two games in 2013 for a failed drug test, which he blamed on taking prescription cough medicine.

Gordon entered the league with questions about his character after testing positive three times for marijuana in college at Baylor. The Browns surrendered a second-round draft pick in 2013 to select him in the supplemental draft in 2012.