There may be light at the end of the tunnel for Josh Gordon, and it may have just gotten brighter.
Despite reports last week that Gordon’s NFL reinstatement was fully on hold, and not even being considered by commissioner Roger Goodell, the receiver is reportedly targeting a late September 2017 comeback, according to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole.
That’s assuming the NFL does consider and reinstate him to active playing status by then. Per Cole, he’s at least been making an effort to prove himself to the NFL brass, and did another stint rehab two months ago in cooperation with the league.
Optimistic note on WR Josh Gordon: Sources said went to rehab 2 months ago in cooperation w/ #NFL in hopes of being reinstated in late Sept— Jason Cole (@JasonCole62) August 25, 2017
If the report is true, and assuming Gordon’s act of good faith and subsequent sobriety sways the league’s opinion, there’s a real chance he could see the field this season. Could what has been a rollercoaster of an absence from the league finally conclude with Gordon seeing action for the Browns in 2017?
It goes without saying that Gordon’s elite athletic gifts and proven ability on the field would be a big help to a Browns team with lacking and generally unproven production at the receiver position. And if he is reinstated, he’ll have the benefit of mastering Hue Jackson’s offense in the meantime after practicing in it during training camp and the first few weeks of the 2016 season before he entered rehab. Reinstating him sooner than later would be nice, too, because it’d allow him to build chemistry with whoever is the quarterback by the time he’s eligible to return to the field.
The Browns can only hope that a decision to reinstate is routed to Goodell’s desk and processed as soon as possible so Gordon can rejoin the team and prepare to play football.