Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon announced Thursday he will enter a rehabilitation facility, putting his return to the NFL on hold.
Gordon was set to complete a four-game suspension Monday, which came after multiple violations of the NFL’s policy on substance abuse. He previously was issued an indefinite suspension that caused him to miss the entirety of last season, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued the conditional reinstatement on July 25.
“After careful thought and deep consideration I’ve decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility,” Gordon said in a statement. “This is the right decision for me and one that I hope will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person.
“I appreciate the support of the NFL, NFLPA, the Browns, my teammates, my agent and the community through this extremely challenging process.”
Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown expressed his support for Gordon’s decision.
“We support Josh in taking this step to seek additional help and treatment,” Brown said in a statement. “His singular focus must be on his own health. We want nothing more than for Josh to be successful personally and professionally and will not comment on his status with the organization at this time.”
Gordon, 25, led the NFL in receiving yards in 2013 with 1,646 in 14 games but has played in just five games since then due to multiple suspensions.
“Our concern is with Josh’s well-being,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told USA TODAY Sports in an email. “We will decline comment on his status with the team.”