The NFL has denied Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon’s recent reinstatement petition, but he may apply again this fall, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league had made no announcement about Gordon, who hasn’t played since the 2014 season while banished under the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell conditionally reinstated Gordon, 26, last year and said he’d be eligible to return after serving a four-game suspension to start the season. But Gordon checked into rehab days before the suspension was set to end.
There’s little question about Gordon’s talent when he’s on the field. He had 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. But he has played in just five regular-season games since – all late in 2014, when he caught 24 passes for 303 yards.