Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has finally been reinstated, nearly three years after he last played in an NFL regular-season game.
The league announced today that Gordon is reinstated on a conditional basis and can attend team meetings effective immediately. He’ll be eligible to start practicing with the team on November 20 and eligible to be added to the 53-man roster on November 27, which means he could play again in Week 13.
It’s been a long, long road back for Gordon, one of the best receivers in the NFL. Repeated violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy have consistently derailed his career, and he recently acknowledged that he had abused cocaine, codeine, Xanax, marijuana and other substances.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement that the league is rooting for Gordon.
“As emphasized at today’s meeting, everyone – including Josh’s teammates and coaches, the Browns’ ownership and organization, the Program professionals and all of us at the league office – want him to have every opportunity to resume his career and to be successful in the NFL,” said Goodell. “Whether that happens, however, at the end of the day will depend on Josh. His commitment to sobriety and to reaching his goals in football and beyond will determine his success. It ultimately is up to Josh.”
Gordon, who had 87 catches for 1,646 yards in 14 games in 2013, is just 26 years old.