“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,” Gordon said in a statement Saturday.
Gordon had been away from the team since it opened training camp last month. League sources had told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Gordon was seeking additional counseling to deal with his mental health and anxiety. The wide receiver has said that he typically used alcohol or marijuana when he was anxious, something he cannot do without another violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Browns general manager John Dorsey said in a statement that Gordon will start by participating in meetings and conditioning. The wide receiver will gradually return to all football activities, Dorsey said.
Dorsey praised Gordon’s “hard work, commitment and focus on becoming 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 added.
Gordon has missed most of the past three seasons because of suspensions stemming from violations of the substance abuse policy. The Browns had told Gordon to take the extra time away from the team in a proactive move, sources said.
He thanked the Browns, the NFL and the players’ association, among others, for helping him.
“This has by no means been an easy road and I’m extremely grateful to have all of you in my life,” Gordon said in his statement.
Information from ESPN’s Pat McManamon was used in this report.