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Josh Gordon reveals extent of addiction and is ready to make the most of one last chance in NFL

Gordon was honest about his use, which was a regular habit before and after games.

NFL: Preseason-Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Nov. 1. He’ll be able to attend team meetings and participate with them starting on Nov. 20. It’s his chance, probably his last one in the NFL, to recover after what has been a tumultuous path.

On Nov. 6, GQ’s Clay Skipper published an interview with Gordon where he detailed his addiction, which included using drugs and alcohol before games.

Gordon told GQ that he had something in his system for every game of his career, college and pro. It even became a ritual for him:

I used to make a ritual of it before every game. If I had already been drug tested that week, or the day before the game, I knew I had a couple days to buy to clean my system. Even before I was getting tested for alcohol, prior to my DWI in 2014, I would take the biggest bong rip I could. And try to conceal all the smell off all my clothes. I'd be dressed up to go to the game. A bunch of guys smoke weed before the game. But we're not talking about them.

I would have these little pre-made shots. I used to love Grand Marnier. I could drink it down smooth. I could usually drink a lot of it. But if it wasn't that, it might be a whiskey or something. And I would drink probably like half a glass, or a couple shots to try and warm my system up, basically. To get the motor running. That's what I would do for games.

Gordon added that he would be partying after every game, whether or not the Browns won or lost.

In his 2013 season, when he led the NFL in receiving and had back-to-back 200-yard games, he was doing it then, too.

Gordon told GQ his usage began because of “childhood and adolescent trauma-based fear.”:

I was using in my childhood. That environment brought me into that a lot sooner than a normal—whatever normal is—kid should be brought into that, to be able to make a decision on their own of what to do. I didn't want to feel anxiety, I didn't want to feel fear. I didn't plan on living to 18. Day-to-day life, what's gonna happen next? So you self-medicate with Xanax, with marijuana, codeine—to help numb those nerves so you can just function every day. That became the norm from middle school to high school. So by the time I got into my 20s, I was on an accelerated pace.

Gordon said the first time he used was in middle school, when he took an entire Xanax and was drooling over his desk.

Many will doubt Gordon and say that he’s had plenty of chances, but he feels this time is different than the others. Previously, Gordon says he stopped for the wrong reasons, whether it was a publicity stunt or for somebody else. Now, he just wants to do it for himself and his family.

In a year where we’ve lost Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr., David Johnson, Deshaun Watson, and other stars to season-ending injuries, Gordon’s return is welcome. And we hope he’s able to be the superstar talent he showed us he can be once again.

It’s not an easy recovery, but it can be done. Cris Carter once struggled with addiction and was cut by the Eagles. He recovered and ended up becoming one of the best receivers to ever play the game.

Hopefully by the time Week 13 rolls around, Gordon can help be a bright spot in what has otherwise been an embarrassing Browns season.