With training camp starting this week, excitement for the 2018 Cleveland Browns is in full swing. The excitement has been taken down a notch or two with the news that wide receiver Josh Gordon will miss the start of camp due to health reasons.
“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 via twitter. “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. I appreciate the awesome support I have received from teammates, friends, fans, and the Browns organization. Just like you, I am excited to start the season and I have every intention of being ready and available to join my teammates soon to help bring winning football to our fans.
“With the help of the NFL, NFLPA, and the Browns’ organization, I have been able to utilize the resources available to me that will ensure my well-being on and off the field. By continuing to follow the plan set up by our medical director and his team and taking this time before this season starts, we believe it will help me maintain the progress I’ve made for not only today but for many years to come.”
“Thank you all for your patience, love, and support! Go Browns!”
There is speculation that Gordon is taking this leave of absence because of the Browns being feature on HBO's 'Hard Knocks' or because of another possible suspension. The NFL denies both of those possibilities.
While the news is disappointing, the Browns organization is pledging their support to Gordon during this time.
“We will continue to support Josh as he receives the care needed to maintain his progress,” general manager John Dorsey said via a release from the team. “We are going to respect his privacy while he is away from the team. Josh will be placed on the non-football illness reserve list until he is ready to return.”
Coming off an 0-16 season, Gordon is expected to lead a revamped wide receiver core that includes veteran Jarvis Landry. The duo could be one of the top wide receiver tandems in the NFL. We'll just have to wait and see if that happens at some point in 2018.
Gordon has missed the majority of his career due to violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy. 2018 could mark the first time Gordon plays a full NFL season since his rookie year in 2012.