Schefter: Josh Gordon Reinstated by NFL, Will Be Eligible to Play in Week 4

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2021

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Josh Gordon (10) runs against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Josh Gordon may be on his way back to an NFL field.

The NFL has informed the veteran wideout he is being reinstated and will be eligible to play as soon as Week 4, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Schefter reported Sept. 14 that the NFL Players Association determined Gordon successfully completed the treatment program the league was monitoring.

The NFLPA recommended the 30-year-old be reinstated.

Schefter also reported in July that Gordon submitted a reinstatement letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and was hoping to join a team prior to training camp. While that didn't happen, he is free to sign with any team following this reinstatement.

The league randomly drug-tested him for the previous three months at the time he submitted the reinstatement letter, and he passed all the tests, per Schefter.

Brady Henderson of ESPN reported in January that the league suspended Gordon indefinitely for violating the terms in place for a conditional reinstatement under the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

He was previously suspended indefinitely in December 2019, his sixth suspension since the 2013 campaign. However, the league conditionally reinstated him in December 2020 in a move that seemed to clear the way for him to return to the field for the Seattle Seahawks.

That chance ended when he apparently violated the terms of the conditional reinstatement, and he didn't play during the 2020 season.

At one time, Gordon was on the short list of the best wide receivers in the league.

As a rookie in 2012, he made an impact with 805 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He then turned in the best campaign of his career in 2013 when he posted 87 catches for a league-leading 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.

Gordon appeared to be a franchise cornerstone for Cleveland, but he played just five games in 2014, missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons and played five games in 2017.

The Baylor product played for the Browns, New England Patriots and Seahawks in 2018 and 2019 but was unable to replicate the head-turning numbers he tallied in his second season.

That 2019 campaign was the last time he appeared in a regular-season game, but he is still relatively young. He also won't be asked to be a No. 1 wide receiver and could take advantage of openings created by the additional defensive attention the primary options receive.

Gordon will likely draw interest given some of his previous production.