Josh Gordon's appeal hearing is set for Aug. 1 in New York.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will have an appeal hearing for his indefinite suspension for a reported failed drug test on Aug. 1 in New York City, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday morning.
On the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft, ESPN's "Outside The Lines" reported Gordon failed a drug test during the offseason. Having already served a drug-related suspension, Gordon faces a minimum ban of 12 months, after which he will be able to apply for reinstatement.
Should the suspension be upheld after the hearing, Gordon will be subject to up to 10 unannounced drug tests a month and required to follow a treatment plan as part of Stage Three of the NFL's Substance Abuse Program.
Per the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse handbook, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will have "sole discretion" in determining if Gordon's suspension will be lifted, and "certain clinical requirements" must be met by the NFL's medical director.
Gordon will remain in Stage Three of the program for the rest of his NFL career, must participate in treatment under the Intervention Program, and after a period of three years, can file a request to have the number of unannounced drug tests reduced.
Last season, Gordon missed the first two games because of a drug-related suspension, but came back with a vengeance and finished the year as the NFL's leader in receiving yards.
Despite playing with three different starting quarterbacks and missing those first two games, Gordon caught 87 passes for a team-record, and NFL-best, 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He led the league in receiving yards, yards-per-game (117.6), longest reception (95-yard touchdown against Jacksonville on Dec. 1), and longest touchdown catch.
"If not the same, hopefully better," Gordon said of his expectations during mini-camp three months ago. "That's all I can expect to do, just build on what I've already done and wish for the best. It's a great offense, wide receiver friendly. Receivers in this offense, they lead the league in receptions all the time, so I'm expecting big things.
"I think you can always top it. There's no peak to any potential or with what you've done before say 'That's as much as you can do.' You can always build on top of that."
In 2013, Gordon went on to set team records for receiving yards in a season, 100-yard receiving games in a season (seven), and had the best two-, three-, and four-game receiving yardage totals in NFL history.
"You're very glad he's wearing the same jersey," Browns coach Mike Pettine said after mini-camp. "He's a special player. I think he's a guy that can change the game, and defensively, you're always going to evaluate the wide outs and if this is a guy we have to double-team.
"He certainly put it on tape last year, and has shown more than a few flashes of that ability. I think that affects a defense. He could have a very low production game if teams are just rolling their coverage to him, but the effect that that has on the rest of the defense, (is) the benefit that you have offensively."
Gordon earned his first invitation to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro status following his second NFL season, which he said provided him with motivation to continue working hard during the offseason in order to build his name on the football field.
"Going to the Pro Bowl, being selected All-Pro, things like that just give you a lot more motivation to show you, you can go out there and do it again, build a career, build a resume and just accolades and good things not only individually, but hopefully, compile wins on top of that for the team," Gordon said.
Gordon was so concerned about the team adding talent to the roster during the offseason that he accompanied several of his teammates on visits to free agents.
"It was actually big," Gordon said. "I was surprised by it, but it was good to have that camaraderie. We never really had that before. Nobody ever really tried to instill that in this group, but hopefully, that brings us all together."
If the report is true and suspension upheld, Gordon may never get the chance to be a part of that cohesive group on the field.