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NFL clearly has a hand in Josh Gordon’s timetable for return

Getty Images Throughout the unexpected absence of receiver Josh Gordon from Browns training camp, a persistent, nagging sense has lingering that the move was not entirely voluntary, and that the league had some sort of role in the departure and/or the return.
Through it all, however, reporters have parroted without much scrutiny the notion that this process is controlled solely by a “proactive” Gordon, who simply decided on the eve of training camp that he needed to address issues related to his overall health.
WR Josh Gordon is still in jointly negotiated substance abuse program, he’s subject to certain conditions.
Per [league spokesman Brian McCarthy]: ‘This part of the process.
No timetable on next step. ‘” However this one is characterized, it’s clear that Gordon’s return and the terms of his return are controlled by the league.
It’s also clear that Gordon’s ability to practice and to play will be subject to league approval.
Which necessarily means that something likely happened within the confines of Gordon’s treatment plan to trigger the absence in the first place.
Otherwise, he would be instantly reinstated with no restrictions of any kind.
So why is the league tiptoeing around this one?

Getty Images

Throughout the unexpected absence of receiver Josh Gordon from Browns training camp, a persistent, nagging sense has lingering that the move was not entirely voluntary, and that the league had some sort of role in the departure and/or the return. Through it all, however, reporters have parroted without much scrutiny the notion that this process is controlled solely by a “proactive” Gordon, who simply decided on the eve of training camp that he needed to address issues related to his overall health.

But the sense still lingers that the league has had a hand in this situation, despite the apparent effort to create the impression that the league has nothing to do with it. Consider this tweet from Tom Pelissero of NFL Media regarding the terms of Gordon’s return to the Browns: “Since . . . WR Josh Gordon is still in jointly negotiated substance abuse program, he’s subject to certain conditions. Per [league spokesman Brian McCarthy]: ‘This part of the process. Can…

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