Gordon has returned to the team from a personal absence, but at this stage he doesn't have clearance from the NFL to practice with his teammates or play in games. There's not yet a timetable in place for that to change, but this represents the next step in the wideout's planned return to action.
Gordon's reinstatement last year came with conditions that extend into future seasons, and he apparently hasn't yet done enough to receive clearance for practice or games. An NFL spokesman did say Gordon can observe practice and do conditioning work while he makes his way toward the next step in the process. With no timeline provided for that next step, it's hard to say if Gordon will be ready for the start of the regular season, despite Saturday's announcement that he's rejoining the team.
Gordon announced he's returning to Browns, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. "Thank you for your love, support, and most importantly your patience as I took the time needed to ensure my overall mental and physical health," he said in a statement.
It's not clear when he'll return to practice or if he'll be far behind in conditioning, but it looks like he'll be part of the team's plans this season.
Gordon's ongoing absence from camp apparently won't affect his free-agency status during the upcoming offseason, even though he only has officially accrued two seasons of NFL service time after being suspended for 56 of a possible 96 games, as the Browns worked it out with the other parties that he won't be adversely affected if he rejoins the team after Tuesday. The wideout will need to play in six games in 2018 to become a restricted free agent after this season before hitting the open market during the subsequent offseason, assuming he accrues a fourth NFL season in 2019. As for Gordon's eventual return to camp, a source familiar with the situation said the 27-year-old is "getting closer" to rejoining the Browns, though no firm date has been established.
GM John Dorsey told 92.3 The Fan on Saturday that Gordon will return to the team this season.
Just over a week ago, Dorsey said that he had no idea when Gordon will report to the Browns, but he now seems to have much more confidence in the wideout. Dorsey and fellow wide receiver Rashard Higgins both acknowledged how Gordon is handling his business off the field and that his return to the team will come when he is ready. Gordon is currently on Cleveland's "did not report" list.
|P4||8/30/18||@ DET||7:00 pm|
|2||9/16/18||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|4||9/30/18||@ OAK||4:05 pm|
|7||10/21/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|8||10/28/18||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/25/18||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|