Josh Gordon is back.
The Cleveland Browns' receiver announced on Saturday he will return to the team.
Gordon revealed on July 23rd that he would not report to Browns training camp as he worked through some personal issues. Gordon has been suspended multiple times for violations of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. The 27-year-old missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons before returning last year.
The wideout's status throughout training camp has been a mystery, with the team unsure when the dynamic playmaker might return.
On Saturday that question was finally answered.
Browns general manager John Dorsey said the team would ease Gordon back into action.
"First off, we are pleased for Josh," Dorsey said in a statement. "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. We are glad Josh has reached a point where he can return to our organization, be in our building and be around his teammates. 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."
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero notes Gordon's return to the team is subject to certain conditions as he is still part of the NFL's substance abuse program. He can attend meetings and practices, but he cannot participate. Per Pelissero, no timetable has been set on the next steps in the process.
The Browns did placed Gordon on the active/non-football illness list.
Gordon's return is a big boon to a suddenly shallow Browns receiver corps. Following the trade of former first-round pick Corey Coleman, rookie Antonio Callaway had been taking first-team reps alongside Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry.
Gordon has played in just 10 NFL games since his breakout season in 2013. However, he displayed in his return last year that he still has the size and speed combination to be a dynamic wideout. If Gordon returns to form, he and Landry could become one of the best receiving duos in the NFL.
Gordon's return further complicates the Dez Bryant situation. The ex-Cowboys receiver visited Cleveland earlier this week but did not sign a contract. With Gordon back in town, the Browns could move on from Bryant.
Coach Hue Jackson said he didn't believe Gordon's return rules out the team pursuing Bryant."No, I think one has nothing to do with the other in my opinion," Jackson said Saturday on a conference call, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. "Again, things will unfold as they will. The most important thing we know is that Josh is here, and again, we've had a good conversation with Dez and until he's a Cleveland Brown, I can only worry about the guys that are on this football team."