Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Josh Gordon rejoined the team after taking leave to focus “on his mental and physical health” a few weeks ago. Former Pro Bowler shared a statement on Twitter following his return, saying that he is thankful to “Browns and NFL family” for their “love, support, and patience” during the time he took off.
“As I humbly return to being a member of this team with an opportunity to get back to playing this game I love, I realize in order for me to reach my full potential my primary focus must remain on my sobriety and mental well-being,” – the 27-year-old added.
— Flash Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII) August 18, 2018
Following Gordon’s return, Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson said that he never “lost trust” in the player and that he respects his decision to focus on his health.
“I never lost trust in him,” – said Jackson on Saturday. “Obviously, he was doing something to make himself better and put himself in a better place, which I think is very important. I think the health part for him is real important, and I get that and respect that.“
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 18, 2018
Josh Gordon left the Browns before the start of training camp, citing his” overall health and treatment plan” as the main reason. Gordon previously struggled with substance abuse, which caused him to play just 10 NFL games since 2013 due to various suspensions. Being sober now, he didn’t want to put in danger his future football career and decided to seek additional counseling for anxiety.
After his return, Browns placed Josh Gordon on the active/non-football injury list, but he is still not cleared to practice. According to team’s general manager John Dorsey, Gordon will participate in meetings and conditioning, and will gradually return to football activities.