Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, who last played in the NFL in 2014, has decided to enter a rehabilitation facility instead of return to the team next week at the conclusion of his four-game suspension to start this season.
Gordon, who had a breakout season in 2013 during his second season in the league, released the following statement through the team:
"After careful thought and deep consideration I've decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and my football career to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility. This is the right decision for me and one that I hope will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person. I appreciate the support of the NFL, NFLPA, the Browns, my teammates, my agent and the community through this extremely challenging process."
Sashi Brown, the club's head of football operations, released the following statement offering support for the 25-year-old.
"We support Josh in taking this step to seek additional help and treatment. His singular focus must be on his own health. We want nothing more than for Josh to be successful personally and professionally and will not comment on his status with the organization at this time."
Brown had 87 receptions for nine touchdowns and a league-best 1,649 yards during 14 games in 2013, when he missed the first two games while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Since 2014, he has missed 30 of the Browns' last 35 games because of subsequent suspensions.
Browns Coach Hue Jackson told reporters that aside from his personal problems, Gordon has been an exemplary teammate.
"He still is doing well, in my opinion," Jackson said. "I can't tell you about everything that goes on outside of this building — but I know in this building, in our meetings with me, with our coaches, with the players, he has been outstanding.
"That's what I have to judge on. Now we'll find out about this other part and know a little bit more about it as we move forward. I have nothing but great things to say about Josh."
Bryant missed exams, meetings
Dez Bryant missed medical appointments and team meetings over two days away from the Dallas Cowboys this week as the star receiver tried to avoid bad news about his injured right knee.
Coach Jason Garrett said Bryant missed an MRI on Monday and a team meeting Tuesday before finally getting the exam Wednesday. The MRI revealed a hairline fracture in a bone in his right knee, which he injured in last Sunday's win over Chicago.
It's possible Bryant won't miss Sunday's game at San Francisco because the Cowboys have had similar scenarios with injury in the past. But he was expected to miss practice for the second straight day Thursday.
"It stems from someone who is very passionate about what he does and he did not handle this the right way," Garrett said. "He expressed that to me. He expressed that to other coaches and teammates. You can understand why he did what he did, given the passion that he has for the game and for this football team and where he thought he was. I'm not excusing any behavior that he has."
A frustrating rookie season for Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Doctson is showing no signs of letting up. Doctson's sore Achilles' tendon could sideline him for a couple of weeks, according to Coach Jay Gruden, who said he's "very" concerned. … New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker sat out his second straight practice with a shoulder injury, increasing the possibility that he could miss the game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. …