Josh Gordon makes surprise announcement, will report to Browns after long absence

After sitting out all of training camp, Josh Gordon is finally ready to report for duty. The Browns receiver surprised everyone when he announced his return on Saturday. 

"As I humbly return to being a member of this team with an opportunity to get back to playing this game I love, I realize in order for me to reach my full potential my primary focus must remain on my sobriety and mental well-being," Gordon wrote on Twitter on Saturday. "This has by no means been an easy road and I'm extremely grateful to have all of you in my life."

Browns general manager John Dorsey also released a statement about Gordon's return.

"We are glad Josh has reached a point where he can return to our organization, be in our building and be around his teammates," Dorsey said in a statement. "We are pleased for Josh. His overall health and well-being is what is most important. We commend Josh for his hard work, commitment and focus on becoming the best version of himself."

The Browns' plan for Gordon is to ease him back into football.  

"As he assimilates back to our team, Josh will initially participate in meetings and conditioning and will gradually resume all football activities as deemed appropriate," Dorsey said. 

One thing that's not clear is when Gordon will be able to practice. An NFL spokesman told NFL.com that Gordon is allowed to attend practice, but he's not allowed to participate yet. 

Gordon shocked the Browns back in July when he made the announcement that he wouldn't be reporting for training camp. At the time, Gordon said he was taking 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."

According to ESPN.com, Gordon decided to sit out training camp because he wanted to seek "additional counseling to deal with his mental health and anxiety" issues that have led to problems in the past. 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. Basically, Gordon took the time off to get his anxiety under control, because that had generally been a trigger for his addiction. 

Last November, Gordon said he believes he can be the greatest wideout of all time, and that might not be too far-fetched of a statement if he can actually stay on the field. Back in 2013, Gordon led the NFL in receiving with 1,646 yards, despite only playing in 14 games. 

Even his time off didn't seem to have a negative impact. When Gordon returned to the field in 2017, he finished the season with 18 catches for 335 yards over five games, which translates to 1,072 yards over a 16-game season. With Gordon's return, the Browns will now have a loaded receivers room that includes Jarvis Landry and electrifying rookie Antonio Callaway

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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