The return of Cleveland Browns star Josh Gordon is in jeopardy as results of a March drug test are reported to have returned positive for marijuana. The news suppresses optimism within the Browns organization that the troubled receiver’s recent application for reinstatement will be granted, with league sources telling ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the process is sure to be delayed pending an observance of 60-90 days of no “red-flag tests” by NFL officials.
Both Gordon’s “A” and “B” test samples showed levels of the substance recording below the 35 nanogram threshold, however, due to the probationary period imposed upon players with past suspensions for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy, it constitutes violation by league standards. Gordon, who hasn’t played a game since the 2014 season, is said to have personally approached commissioner Roger Goodell to ask for a pardon. Despite a common protocol of 60 days for the NFL to make a decision, ESPN’s Field Yates reports that a league spokesman clarified there being no actual requirement to meet that deadline.
“The actual decisions are made when appropriate,” he quoted the spokesperson.
The former Pro Bowl wideout missed all of 2015 for failing multiple tests for alcohol and marijuana. After pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated during a July 2014 run in with the law in Raleigh, North Carolina, Gordon failed a subsequent test when a few days after the season he admitted to drinking on a flight to Las Vegas. But his struggles with discipline pre-date the lead up to 2015. His entire 2014 season was threatened for failing a test, however received a reduction in his suspension to 10 games after the NFLPA modified their policy. In 2013 he missed two games for a failed drug test which he blamed on prescription cough medicine.
Recent accounts indicate that Gordon hasn’t been as precautious as the Browns would like. ESPN reports that Gordon has in fact been living with loose cannon Johnny Manziel, whom Cleveland cut after affording him several opportunities to re-dedicate himself to football. In an interview with TMZ, the former Browns QB recently admitted to being out in West Hollywood for up to six consecutive nights, proclaiming: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with partying, bro,” Manziel said. “There’s a difference between partying and being out of control.”