In a tweet to “my Cleveland Browns/NFL friends, family and fans,” Gordon wrote:
“I am reaching out to you all personally and letting you know that I am not only doing great physically but mentally as well. You will notice that I will not be in Cleveland for the start of training camp. Rest assured this, too, is a part of my overall health and treatment plan. I appreciate the awesome support I have received from teammates, friends, fans and the Browns organization. Just like you, I am excited to start the season and I have every intention of being ready and available to join my teammates soon to help bring winning football to our fans.
“With the help of the NFL, NFLPA and the Browns’ organization, I have been able to utilize the resources available to me that will ensure my well-being on and off the field. By continuing to follow the plan set up by our medical director and his team and taking this time before the season starts, we believe it will help me maintain the progress I’ve made for not only today but for many years to come.
“Thank you for all your patience, love and support! Go Browns!”
General Manager John Dorsey announced that Gordon would be placed on the non-football illness reserve list “until he is ready to return,” and added, “We will continue to support Josh as he receives the care needed to maintain his progress. We are going to respect his privacy while he is away from the team.”
Gordon, 27, was conditionally reinstated by the NFL last fall after playing in only five games in 2014 and missing all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons as he sought treatment at rehab facilities and attempted unsuccessfully a couple of times to get reinstated by the league. Gordon caught 18 passes for 335 yards and one touchdown in five games last season.
In an interview last fall, Gordon described for GQ the depth of his addiction and said he never played a college or NFL game without first smoking marijuana or drinking hard alcohol. “I used to make a ritual of it before every game,” he said. “If I had already been drug tested that week, or the day before the game, I knew I had a couple days to buy to clean my system. Even before I was getting tested for alcohol, before my DWI in 2014, I would take the biggest bong rip I could. …
“I would have these little pre-made shots. I used to love Grand Marnier. I could drink it down smooth. I could usually drink a lot of it. But if it wasn’t that, it might be a whiskey or something. And I would drink probably like half a glass, or a couple shots to try and warm my system up, basically. To get the motor running. That’s what I would do for games.”
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