Browns receiver Josh Gordon will be eligible to play again in Week 13 after the longest of his multiple suspensions. By then, those suspensions will have totaled 56 games.
Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and suspended the first 10 games of the 2014 season for another violation. He was also suspended for the last game of 2014, although that suspension was by the Browns, not the NFL, for violating team rules.
Gordon was then suspended at the start of the 2015 season and hasn’t played since. He missed all 16 games in 2015, all 16 games in 2016 and will have missed 11 games in 2017 when he’s finally eligible to play again. Add up all those suspensions, and they come in at 56 games.
Players who have committed far more serious infractions than Gordon have often received much, much shorter suspensions than Gordon did. The NFL’s standard suspension for domestic violence, for instance, is six games, and in practice players suspended for domestic violence usually get less than six games. Gordon, however, has not complained, and indicated in a recent interview that he needed the time away from the NFL to work on his rehab. He’s finally getting the chance to show he can stay clean and get back on the field.