Josh Gordon’s comeback with the Cleveland Browns seems to be nearing its end.

Browns Planning To Release Josh Gordon After WR Enters Rehab

The team is planning to release Gordon at some point following Thursday’s announcement that the wide receiver is entering an in-patient rehabilitation facility, a source familiar with the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. 

The development comes after Browns coach Hue Jackson told reporters the team was looking ahead without Gordon.

“We wish him well,” Jackson said. “We need to close that chapter right now. We’re moving on.”


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Gordon is eligible to play in the Browns’ Week 5 game against the New England Patriots as part of the terms of his NFL reinstatement for a substance abuse violation. The 25-year-old was suspended for the entire 2015 season for several violations of the league’s substance abuse policies. He was reinstated conditionally on July 25 by commissioner Roger Goodell.

“After careful thought and deep consideration I’ve decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and my football career to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility,” Gordon said in a statement released through the Browns on Thursday. “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.”

Gordon later added to his statement via Twitter:

Gordon did not specify why he’s seeking treatment. The NFL, in a statement, said its “concern is with Josh’s well-being,” and declined further comment.

Sashi Brown, the Browns’ executive vice president of football operations, wouldn’t comment on Gordon’s status with the team either.

“We support Josh in taking this step to seek additional help and treatment,” Brown wrote 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.”

As part of the terms of his reinstatement, Gordon was permitted to practice with the Browns, but was suspended from the team’s first four games.

The oft-banned receiver hasn’t played in a game since December 2014. He’s just three years removed from leading the NFL in receiving yards (1,646), despite playing just 14 games in 2013.

Earlier this month, an arrest warrant for Gordon was withdrawn after he complied with a year-old court order to take a DNA test in a paternity suit.

An attorney who represents the woman told that the DNA test came back Thursday and showed that Gordon is the father with 99.9 percent certainty. Another court hearing has been set for Nov. 8.

Before Gordon’s reinstatement, the Browns contacted teams regarding a potential trade involving the former All-Pro selection, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garofalo. Cleveland was seeking a “second-round pick and then some,” Garofalo added. The news quickly led Gordon to reaffirm his commitment to the team.

“Cleveland is my team. That’s where I want to be,” Gordon said. “I’m happy to be with Cleveland.”

The Browns are 0-3 to start the season, and rookie wideout Corey Coleman will be sidelined the next three to five weeks due to a broken hand. It seems the Browns will need to wait a little longer before adding some much-needed veteran help to their young receiving corps.

ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 23:  Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns stands on the sideliens in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 23, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

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