CLEVELAND — Days before training camp opens, the Cleveland Browns learned Josh Gordon will be missing again.
The troubled wide receiver said on Twitter he will be continuing his recovery from addictions that have derailed his career and threatened his life.
There is no timetable for his return. He is a major part of Cleveland’s plans for 2018, but those could now be on hold.
Gordon has been suspended numerous times by the NFL for drug violations. He missed two full years after he was indefinitely suspended and he hasn’t played a full season since 2013, when he led the league in yards receiving and scored nine touchdowns.
While Gordon’s posting on social media was vague, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the 27-year-old player has not been suspended.
“We will address the matter at the appropriate time,” McCarthy said in an email to The Associated Press.
Statement from WR Josh Gordon and GM John Dorsey
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) July 23, 2018
Gordon’s disclosure came as the Browns are preparing to begin camp under coach Hue Jackson amid great optimism following a 0-16 season.
The team overhauled its roster, adding former Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry and a few other potential starters in trades before drafting Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick.
In recent weeks, speculation that Gordon failed a drug test circulated on social media. But it wasn’t until he posted his message Monday that it became known he could be sidelined again.
“I am reaching out to you all personally and letting you know that I am not only doing great physically but mentally as well,” Gordon wrote in a statement directed to “my Cleveland Browns and NFL Family.”
“You will notice that I will not be in Cleveland for the start of training camp. Rest assured, this, too, is a part of my overall health and treatment plan. I appreciate the awesome support I have received from teammates, friends, fans, and the Browns organization. Just like you, I am excited to start the season and I have every intention of being ready and available to join my teammates soon to help bring winning football to our fans.
“With the help of the NFL, NFLPA, and the Browns’ organization, I have been able to utilize the resources available to me that will ensure my well-being on and off the field. By continuing to follow the plan set up by our medical director and his team and taking this time before this season starts, we believe it will help me maintain the progress I’ve made for not only today but for many years to come.”
Gordon missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons before returning for the final five games last season. He caught 18 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown.
Gordon participated in Cleveland’s offseason programs, and the team has been encouraged by his commitment to staying clean and active.
“We will continue to support Josh as he receives the care needed to maintain his progress,” general manager John Dorsey said. “We are going to respect his privacy while he is away from the team. Josh will be placed on the non-football illness reserve list until he is ready to return.”
Cleveland’s players are to report for camp Wednesday and practice Thursday. Gordon’s announcement is another blow to a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2002 and has lost at least 10 games in 15 seasons since 1999.
During minicamp last month, Gordon couldn’t recall going through a full offseason program. He claimed to be in the best shape of his life, and Gordon boasted that he and Landry give the Browns the league’s best receiving corps.