Josh Gordon hasn’t played a game since 2014, but that hasn’t stopped the hype from starting the day the wide receiver returned to the Browns’ practice field. Injured left tackle Joe Thomas, while hoping for the best from his teammate, knows temptations await Gordon.
“You take that player that has this big history of addiction and you put him in a locker room with a bunch of 20-year-olds and early 30-year-olds, let’s be honest, pro football players like to party, they like to go out and drink and that’s powerful, and it’s difficult and it’s going to take a lot of self-control and discipline on Josh’s part to not slide back into that lifestyle,” Thomas said Wednesday on The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima on 92.3 The Fan, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Because he can’t and not only from his own personal health, but from the NFL.
“I mean, they’re going to be testing him every single week for everything and one more slip-up and it might be over, so it’s going to be tough for him because he wants to be able to relate to those players, he wants to sit there and hang out with his friends and become one of the teammates, become one of the guys but he’s got to be careful not to ever cross that line, because he’s not the type of person that can handle one drink.”
Thomas waved the caution flag because he’s seen too many train wrecks during his 11 seasons, including with Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert.
“You’re definitely seeing the commitment from Josh right now in the facility, but I do agree that he’s going to have some bumps in the road coming back,” Thomas said. “I’m not an addiction specialist. I don’t really understand his side of things too well, but I know that when you’re in a controlled environment, when you’re around other addicts and you’re in those meetings, and those programs, it’s powerful to be around those people because it’s uplifting and they’re fighting the same fight you are.”