Gordon absent from camp, will have appeal heard
BEREA, Ohio — The appeal hearing for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is apparently a go for Friday in New York.
Gordon is facing an indefinite suspension for a violation of stage three of the NFL substance abuse policy. He was absent from Browns practice on Thursday morning, and after that practice Browns coach Mike Pettine said Gordon was traveling to the hearing.
Everything about the league’s substance abuse program is supposed to be confidential, though news that Gordon had failed a test first leaked during the NFL Draft in May.
Earlier this week, a Pro Football Talk report revealed details that indicate Gordon may have a strong case for his appeal and said that Gordon’s camp will argue his lone positive test since entering stage three of the program was the result of second-hand smoke.
Gordon has been practicing with the Browns, both through the spring and the first week of training camp. Thursday was the first day he was absent.
This weekend, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is in Canton, Ohio, for the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. That the appeal is set to be heard in New York is an indication Goodell will not attend the hearing.
An official ruling is expected next week. The Browns open the preseason Aug. 9 in Detroit.
Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards last season despite missing two games due to a substance abuse policy-related suspension. He’s facing DUI charges from earlier this month, though that case is separate from the drug situation in regards to potential NFL punishment.
An indefinite suspension would mean Gordon is barred from team facilities and activities and would have to apply for reinstatement through Goodell after one full year.