Gordon has released a statement regarding the decision:
“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans. I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff.”
The NFL has also issued a statement on the ruling:
“Appeals officer Harold Henderson has upheld the suspension for the 2014 NFL season of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. The suspension is effective immediately. “Gordon’s eligibility for reinstatement will be determined following the 2014 season.“
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Gordon’s suspension is for the season and not necessary for the calender year.
According to Mortensen, if he stays clean, there is a chance he could be restated for the offseason.
- Albert Breer reports that there is no avenue for reinstatement as part of this decision, but his reps are exploring alternatives to the situation.
- Ian Rapoport reports that Gordon is not allowed to be around the team facility during his suspension, even though they were hoping to have him do some work in the coming months.
Reports first surfaced closed to four months ago that Gordon was to be suspended for an entire year, but the appeal process wound up dragging on much longer than anyone anticipated.
The Browns have said that they remain committed to Gordon and are in the process of getting him the help he needs to prevent any further off-the-field issues.
Last year, Gordon caught 87 receptions for 1,646 yards receiving and and nine touchdowns over the course of 14 games.