The Pittsburgh Steelers are far from the only team dealing with player suspensions. And one rival team, is getting some good news on that front. Gone from the game for two years, Cleveland Browns‘ wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated by Roger Goodell, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Gordon’s last NFL snaps came in 2014, playing five games where he caught 24 passes for 303 yards. He played an an elite level the year before, leading the league with 1646 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. He torched the Steelers, catching 14 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown in a 27-11 loss.
This is a huge help for the Brown’s struggling passing attack which was one of the NFL’s worst without him in 2015. The team stocked up on adding receivers in the draft, including selecting fellow Baylor WR Corey Coleman in the first round, but no player will bring a greater impact than Gordon.
However, according to Rapoport, the reinstatement is conditional.
It is unclear what those terms are and how Goodell was able to justify this condition based on the parameters of the CBA.
Pittsburgh will see him both times this season, playing the Browns in Week 11 and 17. As he’s proven in the past, he’ll be a clear threat to the Steelers’ secondary.
Gordon had applied for reinstatement in April but was rejected by the league, who told him to try again in the summer. The reasons were never made public but some believed the league was waiting for Gordon to be able to go months without failing a test before considering allowing him back into the NFL.
From Rapoport, this is what Goodell wrote to Gordon.
This is also notable for Martavis Bryant‘s potential future. Seeing Gordon get reinstated, even though it was a seemingly never-ending process, bodes as good news for Bryant’s chances to return when he applies next offseason. But as Goodell has shown in this case, the reinstatement may not happen immediately and definitely will take place under his own terms.