CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh Gordon won’t be back in the NFL anytime soon.
A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that the Cleveland Browns wide receiver has been denied reinstatement by the NFL. The person, speaking Thursday on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been announced publicly, says Gordon can reapply for reinstatement in the fall.
Gordon has been suspended several times by the league, including the current ban for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He also was suspended for 10 games in 2014, then for the 2015 season, all for substance abuse violations.
Now 26, Gordon rejoined the Browns last summer, then entered a rehab facility in September. He appeared days away from returning to Cleveland’s roster but voluntarily entered the facility, saying he wanted to “gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person.” He completed a 30-day stay for an unspecified condition.
After leading the NFL in yards receiving in 2013, Gordon barely has played, getting into only five games in 2014.
Browns executive Sashi Brown said during the scouting combine 2 1-2 months ago that the team had contact with Gordon “just personally because we care for the young man.” But coach Hue Jackson indicated early last season that the Browns had moved on from Gordon.
“What we need to do is just close that chapter right now,” Jackson said last September. “He’s doing what he needs to do, and we need to do what we need to do, which is continue to move forward.”
The Browns still own Gordon’s rights.