Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon warms up during the team's organized team activity at its NFL football training facility Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Berea, Ohio. Gordon has “humbly” returned to the team after an extended absence to deal with his health. The former Pro Bowler has missed most of the past five seasons for numerous violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He has battled addictions to drugs and alcohol. Gordon was in rehab last year while suspended. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, file)

Browns' Josh Gordon 'humbly' returns after health absence

August 18, 2018 - 12:16 pm

CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh Gordon kept his word and "humbly" returned to the Cleveland Browns. All they can do is hope he stays clean.

The former Pro Bowl receiver Saturday ended an extended absence from training camp to deal with his health. He has missed most of the past four seasons because of numerous violations of the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

He posted a statement on Twitter addressed to "Cleveland Browns and NFL family," saying he was ready to be with his teammates.

"Thank you for your love, support, and most importantly your patience as I took the time needed to ensure my overall mental and physical health," Gordon said. "More specifically, I would like to thank the NFL, NFLPA, the entire Cleveland Browns organization, the University of Florida, and my friend and business manager Michael Johnson Jr for playing such pivotal roles during this process. This has by no means been an easy road and I'm extremely grateful to have all of you in my life.

"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. Let's get to work! Much love, JG."

The 27-year-old Gordon has battled addictions to drugs and alcohol throughout his life. Last year while he was suspended and in rehab, Gordon said he had never played in a game while sober.

The Browns said Gordon was at the team's facility in Berea, Ohio, and was taking part in meetings and conditioning Saturday. He is not expected to be on the field for several days.

The Browns have remained supportive of Gordon, who has played in just 10 games since 2013 when he led the league with 1,646 yards receiving. General manager John Dorsey commended him for his "commitment" to become the "best version of himself."

"We are glad Josh has reached a point where he can return to our organization, be in our building and be around his teammates," Dorsey said. "As he assimilates back to our team, Josh will initially participate in meetings and conditioning and will gradually resume all football activities as deemed appropriate."

With Gordon, the Browns could have one of the league's most talented receiving groups. They signed three-time Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry, drafted Florida speedster Antonio Callaway and are excited about the progress Rashard Higgins has made this season.

Cleveland also has interest in former Dallas star receiver Dez Bryant. He visited the team this week, and the sides remain in discussions about a possible contract.


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