NFL reinstates Browns’ Josh Gordon on conditional basis
Cleveland — Troubled Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated to the NFL on a conditional basis.
Commissioner Roger Goodell informed Gordon on Monday in a letter that he can rejoin the team during training camp and will be allowed to participate in meetings and conditioning work. The league said once Gordon meets clinical requirements, he will be allowed to participate in all preseason activities, including practices and games.
Gordon, who was suspended in 2015 for a year for multiple violations of the league’s drug policies, will be suspended for the first four games of the 2016-17 season. He is eligible to return to the team on Oct. 3. During his suspension, Gordon may participate in team meetings and other activities but can’t practice.
Gordon met with Goodell in New York last week, clearing the way for his partial return.
In his letter to Gordon, Goodell made it clear the onus is on the 25-year-old former Pro Bowler to stay clean.
“As we discussed at our (July 19) meeting, as Commissioner, I want nothing more than to see you turn your circumstances around and succeed,” Goodell said. “Countless others including your agent, teammates and coaches, (owner) Jimmy Haslam and the leadership of the organization, the Program professionals and Jim Brown also have pledged to provide you with every resource at their disposal.
"But as you acknowledged, ultimately, your future is your responsibility. I have every belief that you can make the right choices, but it will be up to you to do so.”
The Browns open training camp on Friday.
Gordon missed all of last season while serving his one-year ban. He was suspended for the first 10 games in 2014 before returning to play in five games.
He emerged as one of the league’s rising young stars in 2013, when he led the NFL with 1,646 yards receiving.