NFL Denies Josh Gordon's Reinstatement, Browns WR Can Reapply In Fall

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The NFL has denied Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon's application for reinstatement, a league source told ESPN's Pat McManamon on Thursday, confirming a report by USA Today Sports. Gordon filed the necessary paperwork for reinstatement back in March.

Gordon was conditionally reinstated last summer by Roger Goodell, but the commissioner did not appreciate Gordon leaving the Browns for another stint in rehab before the conditional reinstatement took place.

The suspension for Josh Gordon continues on.

Gordon, 26, was to have rejoined the Browns last October before his rehab move, which came after the National Football League had suspended Gordon four times for violating its substance-abuse policy. But he has played in just five regular-season games since - all late in 2014, when he caught 24 passes for 303 yards.

There's little question about Gordon's talent when he's on the field. The 26-year-old was suspended for two games in 2013, 10 games in 2014, all 16 games in 2015 season and the first four games this year. The Browns selected him in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft.

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But in March at the NFL owners meetings, head of football operations Sashi Brown acknowledged Gordon's elite skills would still entice every team in the league, including the Browns.

"I think what we need to do is just close that chapter right now", Browns coach Hue Jackson said September 30.

Even if Gordon was reinstated, there is no guarantee that he would wear the number 12 for the Browns ever again.

"We're not in position at wide receiver to turn down a guy like Josh if we feel he's settled himself", Brown said. Gordon, who can reapply in the fall, led the league in receiving in 2013 but has struggled with problems that resulted in four suspensions.