As Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon attempts to make his comeback to the NFL, details have emerged about his previous drug and alcohol use.
Gordon, who has been suspended by the NFL since 2014 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, said in an interview with GQ Magazine that he was on drugs or alcohol “probably every game” of his career.
“I used to make a ritual of it before every game,” Gordon said. “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.”
Gordon added that he eventually would find a way to “beat the system” by going home before games and either smoking weed or drinking. He also said that he would party after games even if they lost. Gordon was among the game’s best wide receivers during his first two years in the league. In his second year in the NFL, Gordon recorded 87 catches for a league-best 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.
He was conditionally reinstated by the NFL last week after a meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell. His reinstatement to the league is “subject to compliance with clinical and other requirements.” Gordon is expected to rejoin the Browns on Tuesday and is eligible to practice again on November 20. The earliest he could play is November 27.
As Gordon noted in his interview with GQ, he has hit rock bottom previously and is determined to stay sober. He has spent more than 100 days in rehab since being away from the team and appears to be in a better place now. In a statement released by the NFL, Goodell wished Gordon all of the best in his recovery and said it is in Gordon’s hands now to determine how successful he can be.
Despite once hitting rock bottom, it sounds as though Gordon is ready for what will likely be his last chance to make it in the NFL.