There is no denying that when Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Josh Gordon is on a NFL field, he is a tremendous player. The problem is Gordon has not played in a NFL game since December 21st 2014, because several suspensions for marijuana use and drunk driving.
Since being taken in the 2012 supplement draft by the Browns, Gordon has played in 35 of a possible 68 games through the first four weeks of the 2016 season. In the games he has played in Gordon has caught 161 passes for 2754 yards and 14 touchdowns. In the 2013 season, Gordon led the league in receiving yards, despite missing the first two games due to suspension.
Suspensions have followed Gordon throughout his football career. While playing his college football at Baylor, Gordon was found by Waco police passed out with his teammate in a Taco Bell drive through. Marijuana was found in the car, and Gordon received his suspension in October 2010. In July 2011, Gordon failed a drug test for marijuana and was kicked off the Baylor team.
Gordon declared for the supplement draft and the Browns gave up a second round pick to select him, dispute his troubles with marijuana. For almost two years, Gordon looked to have put his troubles behind him. But he would fail another drug test in June 2013, and was suspended the first two games of the season. When Gordon returned, he was the best receiver in the NFL.
Despite the struggles on the field, Gordon had given fans some reason to be optimistic. But that optimism would be crushed following a disastrous offseason by Gordon. In June 2014, he would be arrested for a DUI in Raleigh. Seven weeks later, Gordon would fail another drug test and was initially suspended for the entire season, before having his suspension reduced to ten games. Gordon returned from his suspension to play five games for the Browns, before the team suspended him for what they called a violation of team rules.
In the weeks following the Browns, suspending Gordon, he failed another test. On February 3rd 2015, Gordon was officially suspended for the entire 2015 season, for failing a test for alcohol use. Due to his previous failed tests, and DUI, Gordon was subjected to suspension if he tested positive for alcohol as part of his agreement with the NFL substance abuse program.
After a year away from football, Gordon applied for reinstatement, only to have his application rejected after failing yet another test in March 2016. In July, Gordon was officially reinstated, but suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season.
Sunday October 9th, Gordon will return to the field, when the Browns play the New England Patriots and returning Quarterback Tom Brady. It will be 659 days, since Gordon last played a NFL game and only time will tell if Gordon is the same player he was in 2013 or if he has finally put his vices behind him.