After a lengthy absence to handle his own personal matters, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has returned to the team, the club announced moments ago.
Josh Gordon returns to Browns following leave of absence
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 18, 2018
Gordon posted his own statement to Twitter, thanking the organization for allowing him to take the time he needed before reporting.
— Flash Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII) August 18, 2018
In part, he says: “This has by no means an easy road and I’m extremely grateful to have you all in my life.”
Gordon missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons after being suspended by the league for repeated drug violations. He returned last season, a situational deep threat who averaged more than 18 yards per catch but only found the end zone once.
Before camp, Gordon told the Browns he was going to take time away from the team. Those reasons weren’t ever made explicit but presumably, they were to ensure he keeps his nose clean and doesn’t fall back into the lifestyle that nearly ruined his NFL career.
Cleveland has previously expressed interest in signing Dez Bryant, who left the team yesterday without a contract. It’s unclear what the impact Gordon’s return will have on that. The Browns, to their credit, have enjoyed a good offseason, and have some serious talent on offense. Tyrod Taylor will start with Baker Mayfield waiting in the wings. They added Nick Chubb and Carlos Hyde in the offseason while David Njoku looks to take a big next step forward. At receiver, they traded for Jarvis Landry. And now, Gordon is back.
These might not be the playoff Browns. But they won’t be the pushovers they’ve been in the past.