CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh Gordon isn’t going back on the field until he gets a tighter grip on his life.
The suspended Cleveland Browns wide receiver, whose talent has been little more than a tease for several years as he battled personal demons, said Thursday he’s entering rehab and putting his promising NFL career on hold.
Gordon was eligible to return from his latest four-game suspension next week and possibly play on Oct. 9 against New England. However, the troubled 25-year-old’s future is again uncertain after he chose to seek professional help.
Gordon released a statement through the Browns.
“After careful thought and deep consideration I’ve decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and my football career to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility,” he said.
“This is the right decision for me and one that I hope will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person.”
“I appreciate the support of the NFL, NFLPA, the Browns, my teammates, my agent and the community through this extremely challenging process.”
Gordon has been suspended by the NFL in the past for marijuana and alcohol abuse. He did not indicate why he’s seeking treatment.
The Browns had been encouraged by the progress Gordon seemed to be making during his suspension, which followed him being banned for one year by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Gordon met with Goodell a few months ago and was being given another chance to get his personal life in order.
The former Pro Bowler has only been able to attend meetings with the Browns during his latest suspension. When they practiced, Gordon was not allowed to join them on the field. He was not permitted to speak with the media and rarely acknowledged reporters when he came into the locker room.
Sashi Brown, the team’s vice president of football operations, said the team has Gordon’s back.
“We support Josh in taking this step to seek additional help and treatment,” he said. “His singular focus must be on his own health. We want nothing more than for Josh to be successful personally and professionally.”
Gordon has been suspended for 30 of Cleveland’s past 35 games.
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