BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated by the National Football League, the league announced Wednesday.
Terms of the reinstatement are conditional, and Gordon will be eligible to return to game action on Sunday, December 3 at the Los Angeles Chargers. Gordon can return to practice on Monday, November 20, but can attend meetings and go through individual workouts immediately.
Cleveland Browns Executive Vice President Sashi Brown said the following in a statement released by the team after Gordon's reinstatement:
“We’ve been informed of the league’s decision to reinstate Josh. The personal well-being of all our players is of the utmost importance to us. We respect and commend Josh for taking the steps necessary to have the opportunity to return to the league. Josh will be in our building in the coming days and we look forward to having him back and sitting with him to discuss his future on our team.”
When Gordon has been eligible to play in the NFL, his talent resulted in a Pro Bowl appearance, an All-Pro selection and multiple franchise records, but his accomplishments on the field have paled in comparison to his struggles away from the game.
Gordon has been suspended on three occasions for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Since joining the Browns through a second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft, Gordon has turned 161 catches into 2,754 yards and 14 touchdowns. A Pro Bowl player in 2013, Gordon set a franchise record with an NFL-best 1,646 yards on 87 receptions with nine of those catches going for touchdowns after missing the first two games of the season because of a suspension.
His yardage total, average yards per game (117.6), 18.9 yards per reception and 95-yard touchdown were NFL bests.
However, since that Pro Bowl season of 2013, Gordon has been suspended for 41 consecutive games dating back to the final week of the 2014 season, which was a team ban for reportedly missing a walk-through prior to a trip to Baltimore to play the Ravens.
Gordon has been suspended for a total of 53 career games, 52 of which were NFL bans for positive drug and alcohol tests.
Originally, Gordon was to serve a four-game ban before being eligible to play in 2016, but he checked into a rehabilitation facility just prior to his return citing a relapse after finding out the status of a paternity test and remained suspended for the remainder of the season.
Gordon’s most recent ban came as a result of a violation of a league-imposed censure on alcohol as part of his reinstatement from a 10-game suspension in the final weeks of the 2014 regular season.
Gordon returned to the Browns on Monday, November 17, 2014, after serving the league-mandated 10-game suspension for a failed drug test, but after a Week 16 appearance, he has not returned to an NFL field.
Gordon was denied reinstatement by the NFL in April of 2016, and again, in May of 2017.
WATCH: Jim Donovan and Dave "Dino" DeNatale react to the Gordon news during the Donovan Live Postgame Show:
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