As part of the terms of his reinstatement from a previous suspension under the NFL's substance abuse police this July, Josh Gordon was suspended for the first four games of this season. That means he was due to return to the Browns next week against the New England Patriots. Instead, the Browns announced today that Gordon decided to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility. Making the news more curious is the fact that everything we've heard regarding Gordon's status from the Browns had been relatively positive to this point.
Gordon made minor waves last week when an arrest warrant was issued in connection with a paternity case he is involved in in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. The warrant was issued after Gordon failed to appear for a paternity test. He subsequently appeared in court for a hearing and, according to his attorneys, "the matter was continued until November should a further hearing be needed."
Even after news of the arrest warrant broke, both the NFL and the Browns were generally supportive of the wide receiver. The NFL said the issue would have no impact on his return and Browns coach Hue Jackson was damn near effusive in his praise for Gordon.
"He still is doing well in my opinion," Jackson said. "I don't know all the inner workings of that (case). I can't tell you about everything that goes on outside this building.
"But I know in this building, in our meetings, with me, with our coaches, with the players, he has been outstanding. That's what I have to judge on. Now we'll find out about this other part and know a little bit more about it as we move forward, but I have nothing but great things to say about Josh.
"I'm not the judge, the jury on any of this. What I do is support. Let's make sure we do the right thing, whatever that is, pertaining to the situation. But hopefully this will be wrapped up sooner rather than later."
Fast forward eight days and now all the Browns have to say is "We want nothing more for Josh to be successful personally and professionally and we will not comment on his status with the organization at this time." That's quite a shift. Shortly after the initial announcement, Gordon tweeted out that he needs to "take a time out for myself."