Bombshell. Josh Gordon is coming back to the Cleveland Browns. The NFL has confirmed that Gordon is being reinstated but will be suspended for the first four games of the season.
#Browns WR Josh Gordon is being reinstated, source said. He’s suspended for the first 4 games.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 25, 2016
This is being called a conditional reinstatement. He can participate in training camp -- Browns veterans report Thursday -- as well as preseason games. This would set Gordon up to return in Week 5 against the New England Patriots if he’s on the team. That is also the same week that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would return from his deflategate suspension.
Here is the full release from the NFL:
The fact that commissioner Roger Goodell specifically mentions pledges from members of the Browns organization would lead one to believe that the team is not going to just outright cut or trade him. They are going to provide him with a legitimate chance to get his career back on track.
Here are some more details on the league's policy regarding Gordon, and whether this is a special case or not:
NFL isn't making an exception for Josh Gordon. This is from the league's Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse pic.twitter.com/ZEoS5ZXnAT— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) July 25, 2016