Going into this week, no one had any reason to think that Gordon wouldn't be at camp. However, he's not going to be there, and it's because the receiver has decided to take some time off as part of his "overall health and treatment plan."
"I am reaching out to you all personally and letting you know that I am not only doing great physically but mentally as well," Gordon said in a statement. "You will notice that I will not be in Cleveland for the start of training camp. Rest assured, this, too, is a part of my overall health and treatment plan."
Although there was some immediate speculation that Gordon was facing a suspension, multiple reports immediately shot that down.
So if he's not facing any punishment, then why is Gordon voluntarily skipping the first part of training camp?
Apparently, the receiver wants to make sure he has his life under control before the start of the 2018 season. According to ESPN.com, Gordon will be seeking "additional counseling to deal with his mental health and anxiety" issues that have led to problems in the past.
Dealing with anxiety will be a big issue for Gordon this year and that's because it's generally been a trigger for his addiction. According to ESPN, Gordon would usually turn to alcohol or marijuana whenever he became anxious, which is how he ended up missing 54 games over a period of four seasons (2014-17). During that span, Gordon was suspended multiple times due to failed drug tests.
It's a move that makes sense for Gordon, and the Browns are supporting him because they don't want to see their star receiver have any setbacks.
"We will continue to support Josh as he receives the care needed to maintain his progress," Browns general manager John Dorsey said in a statement on Monday. "We are going to respect his privacy while he is away from the team."
Back in November, Gordonor smoke marijuana before games, and clearly, he's trying to make sure he doesn't return to that lifestyle. Coming off an 0-16 season, there's some major pressure on the Browns this year and Gordon clearly wants to make sure he'll be able to handle it.
The one thing that's still a mystery about Gordon's absence is when he might return. According to ESPN.com, there's no timetable for his return. Until get Gordon gets back, the Browns will have him on the non-football illness reserve list, which is basically an easy way for a team to free up a spot when a player leave for non-football related reasons.