Josh Gordon is a highly talented wide receiver and a big reason there is a lot of excitement surrounding the Cleveland Browns offense heading in to the season, but he has already been suspended for the first two games of the 2013 NFL season. While the two games is bad enough for Gordon, there is belief around the league that he could be facing a one-year ban if he is found to violate the league’s substance-abuse policy again.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Gordon’s two-game suspension and four-game fine that come from testing positive for codeine means that he was likely already in Stage Two of the NFL’s program. This violation will elevate him to Stage Three which means another failed drug test would boot him from the league for a year.
If Gordon has not yet been elevated to Stage Three of the program, his next failed test would result in a six-game suspension.
The bad news is that if Gordon reaches Stage Three, he will remain there for the rest of his career and missing extended time would always be a possibility.
Let’s hope that Gordon was being sincere when he said that the codeine came from prescription medicine and that staying sober is “not a struggle” for him. He is a great young talent that could hope the Browns get to a level they haven’t seen in awhile, so they need him to stay on the right path and avoid being banished from the league for one-year.