The last time we saw Josh Gordon in a Browns uniform, he was lighting it up — in the preseason. We never got to see him take the field last season, after he announced he planned to enter rehab in late September.
The announcement officially prolonged Gordon’s absence since his last game on Dec. 21, 2014. It’s been over 800 days, leaving many to question whether or not we’ll ever see Gordon back on a football field ever again. Tuesday, Browns GM Sashi Brown provided a window.
"We're not in a position at wide receiver to turn down a guy like Josh [Gordon] if we feel like he's settled himself,” Brown told reporters via the Akron Beacon Journal.
During the offseason, the Browns lost No. 1 receiver Terrelle Pryor to Washington in free agency. Gordon is still only 25 years old and is just three years removed from leading the NFL in receiving with 1,646 yards.
"Josh, assuming that he'd play at the level we started to see glimpses of last preseason and certainly when he was in the league before, would be a talent I think no team in the NFL would turn down if he got back in," Brown said.
Since then, Gordon has had a handful of off-the-field incidents, including a yearlong suspension for the 2015 season. He applied for reinstatement the week of March 1 this year, but the question will linger about his off-the-field issues until proven fixed.
“We'll make a decision when we know what's going on," Brown said.
Brown’s comments on Gordon are much different in comparison to what Hue Jackson said in September.
"What's best for our football team is that we move forward and move on,'' Jackson said, via cleveland.com. "He's not going to be with us and we wish him well, but we're moving forward.” The comments came after Gordon opted to enter an inpatient rehab facility in September.
Monday, Gordon posted a photo of himself, and he was looking like he was in great football shape:
Further looking at his Instagram, Gordon has posted other videos of himself working out over the weeks.
Gordon’s business manager, Michael Johnson, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter in February, "Josh is living with me and is in the best place mentally that he has been in dating back years before entering the NFL."
Johnson added that Gordon has taken the necessary steps in following a strict protocol to return to the NFL. “He's also in the best shape of his life and feels even better than he did when he had his breakout year in 2013,” he added.
Time will tell how things turn out for Gordon, but it looks like he is doing what he needs to get done to make it back to the NFL. So far it appears — at the very least — the Browns aren’t closing the door on him yet.