Gordon had 50 catches for 805 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie last season. He was a second-round pick by the team in the 2012 supplemental draft.
The pick seemed like a reach and move made out of desperation by Cleveland given Gordon’s shaky past. Gordon reportedly failed three drug tests in college — two at Baylor, and then a third after transferring to Utah.
But Gordon says this failed test was related to codeine from medication for strep throat, not marijuana.
“In February, I was diagnosed with strep throat for which a doctor prescribed antibiotics and cough medicine,” Gordon said in a statement, per the Akron Beacon Journal. “Apparently, the medicine I took contained codeine, which is prohibited by the NFL policy. The policy terms are strict about unintentional ingestion, but the NFL has not imposed the maximum punishment in light of the facts of my case. Therefore, I have chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation. I sincerely apologize for the impact on my team, coaches, and Browns fans. I look forward to working hard in training camp and pre-season, and contributing immediately when I return in Week 3.”
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski also issued a statement.
“Obviously we are all disappointed in this news,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said in a statement. “In our short time with Josh, he has done everything that we’ve asked him to do and he has exhibited substantial improvement. We believe that he will continue to work diligently through training camp and the preseason. I am confident that others will step up in his absence.”
NFL reporter Adam Caplan says the team has been “very concerned” about Gordon for months, so this comes as no surprise to them.
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