Josh Gordon announced Thursday morning he’s taking an indefinite leave to address his mental health — but there’s more to the story.
Mere minutes after Gordon made the announcement on social media, NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported, citing a source, that Gordon is facing yet another suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Given Gordon’s repeated run-ins with the NFL amid myriad failed drug tests, it’s fair to wonder whether Gordon will ever play again.
Because of his past, Gordon was in Stage 3 of the NFL’s substance abuse program. That made him subject to random drug testing and a failed test for just about anything would lead to an indefinite suspension.
Gordon’s problems with drugs date all the way back to his college days at Baylor (and he has admitted his drug use even dates back to childhood). He was suspended in 2010 and 2011 for drug-related issues before eventually transferring to Utah, although he never played for the Utes.
After being taken in the 2012 supplemental draft by the Cleveland Browns, Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season for substance.
A year later, on July 5, 2014, Gordon was arrested while driving impaired. Another suspension followed in August, this time for one year, a ban that ultimately was reduced to 10 games. But less than a year later, Gordon was suspended the entire 2015 season after testing positive for alcohol.
Gordon applied for reinstatement in early 2016, but that request eventually was denied after another failed drug test. That led to a four-game ban, and as Gordon was nearing reinstatement, he instead decided to enter rehab to get help for his problems. A year later he applied for reinstatement but was initially denied. Gordon finally was reinstated in November and finished the season with the Browns.
After reportedly having issues with the team early in the 2018 season, the Browns traded Gordon to the Patriots. Gordon appeared in 11 games with New England, catching 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns.