Browns’ Josh Gordon Working Towards NFL Return, Details Drug Use

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(Cleveland.com/John Kuntz)

It’s been a long and frustrating road for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon and he is working towards a potential return to the NFL.

It won’t be easy for Gordon, who the league has suspended and seemingly isn’t discussing a potential lift of that suspension, but Gordon is training and opening up about his issues.

In a mini-documentary filmed last month, Gordon touched on a number of topics while discussing his drug use saying that he was recently ‘scared for my life’.

“I think it might be therapeutic for me to talk about it,” Gordon says via The Uninterrupted.

“I’m in the position I’m in now and I’m grateful for it. I’m able to give this message and this opportunity for you to learn from my mistakes and for me to tell them my story.”

Gordon is training for a return and has also recently completed  90-day rehab program in an attempt to get his life, and his career, back on track.

Gordon has been living in Gainesville, Florida with his business manager, Michael Johnson, and working out with former Olympic gold medal sprinter Tim Montgomery at N.U.M.A. Speed.

“I’ve used alcohol on many, many occasions, Xanax on many occasions, cocaine several occasions, marijuana most of my life, codeine, cough syrup, methazine is very prevalent where I’m from,” Gordon explained (h/t Cleveland.com).

“It’s what I grew up using.”

Gordon also touched on a 2014 DUI in which he checked himself into rehab but refused to admit that he had a problem.

“My first thought was, ‘this is a publicity stunt,”’ Gordon said in the interview.

“‘This is just going to help the media deal with me. It’s going to help the fans be able to deal with it. I don’t know what they’re so worked up for anyway.’ I definitely wasn’t listening. I definitely wasn’t paying attention.

‘Okay, it’s a business move. Alright, cool let’s do it.’ I was there for like 14-15 days, it was a joke. It was pretty much a vacation. I had a bunch of good gourmet meals and took a little break and then got right back to work. And then led the league in receiving yards.”

Gordon extensively discussed his addiction, which was present at Baylor.

“I’ve been enabled most of my life honestly,” he said. “I’ve been enabled by coaches, teachers, professors, everybody pretty much gave me a second chance just because of my ability. Not too long after I got arrested for possession of marijuana at Baylor, one of my coaches came by saying ‘you are going to get drug tested by the compliance office. This is how it’s going to work, this is what they are going to do. If they do call you in, here goes these bottles of detox.’

“He showed me how to drink them, showed me how to take them. That was my real first experience with getting over on the system and that authority not really being taken seriously because it was kind of being guided by somebody that’s employed by the same university.”

“I’m out of detox drinks? Where is coach with my drinks? Not enough time, gotta take a drug test, failed the drug test,” Gordon said.

Gordon’s downfall continued to spiral.

“I found myself around the city of Gainesville just wandering, looking for a drug dealer,” Gordon admitted.

“Looking for people on the street corner, whatever, smelled like weed, somebody that looked like they had something, asking random people, knocking on like smokeshop storefronts seeing where I could find some stuff at. I was just looking for something, some type of relief. I was walking down (the boulevard) at 11:30 at nighttime, and that night in particular I couldn’t find anybody with drugs and I just began to have a flashback and remembered all the negative things that have happened in my life that transpired, like what led up to this point? How did it get this bad? Like It’s so dark out here, I’m all alone, what the hell am I doing? I was scared.

I was scared for my life.”

And that finally forced Gordon to institute real change.

“And then just something click in my head at that point, it’s like ‘man, you did it again. You’re willing to throw away everything you ever worked hard for, everything you ever had out of life,”’ Gordon described.

“It was so strange, but I just had a desire to stop. I had the desire to get help, invest myself 100% into whatever was going to help save my life. It never really set in the severity of if you fail a drug test, this is over. They’re not going to let you keep playing. I never really took it serious. I thought I could keep on doing it and get away with it and get away with it.”

Gordon will have to convince NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, whom he admits that he has grown to know and respect, that he is able to return to the game he loves.

“I’ve been able to sit down with Roger Goodell and talk to him in many instances where I was just worried for my career and he gave me some of the most honest answers, advice and information, that anybody could give to you,” he siad. “I respect Roger Goodell.” He gets a bad rap because don’t understand him and they don’t know him, but for me, he’s a great guy. He’s a great man. He’s been a friend to me, a mentor to me in a way he may not even understand. And I voiced my opinion to him and told him how bad and desperately I want to get better and I want to stop drinking and I don’t want to do this anymore. I want to get the opportunity to get my life back.”

Gordon said, “I need to live out my amends. I need to try to make right for all my past transgressions and mistakes and show and prove I can be a better person, I can be a better man. Somebody who is accountable, reliable because I know what’s on the other side of that. If given the opportunity, I believe I can prove my worth.”

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