Josh Gordon timeline: WR has long, troubled substance abuse history


Josh Gordon's past seemingly has caught up to him -- again.

The New England Patriots wide receiver announced Thursday morning that he's stepping away from football to focus on his mental health, but later in the day the NFL announces an indefinite suspension for violating the terms of his reinstatement, which could spell the end of his NFL career.

So, how did the talented yet troubled wideout get to this point?

Here's a timeline of Gordon's extensive history with substance abuse, which he's dealt with since childhood:

Pre-2010: Gordon admitted in a 2017 interview with GQ he began abusing drugs in seventh grade. The Houston native said he tried Xanax, marijuana and codeine to "self-medicate" and deal with "adolescent trauma-based fear."

October 2010: Gordon, a sophomore at Baylor, is arrested after he and a teammate fall asleep at a Taco Bell drive-thru and police find marijuana in the car. Gordon's misdemeanor charges are later dropped.

July 2011: Baylor coach Art Briles suspends Gordon indefinitely for failing a drug test. Gordon transfers to the University of Utah in August 2011 but sits out the 2011 season after declaring too late for the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft.

June 2013: The NFL suspends Gordon, then on the Cleveland Browns, for the first two games of the 2013 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

July 2014: Gordon is arrested for driving while impaired in Raleigh, N.C.

August 2014: Gordon reveals the NFL has suspended him for the entire 2014 season after another substance abuse policy violation. His suspension is reduced to 10 games in mid-September, and he's reinstated on Nov. 17.

January 2015: Gordon faces another year-long suspension from the NFL, this time violating the NFL's substance abuse policy by testing positive for alcohol.

July 2016: Gordon is officially reinstated by the NFL after his first application for reinstatement in January was denied. He is allowed to participate in training camp but remains suspended for Cleveland's first four games.

September 2016: Gordon leaves the Browns to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility in New Hampshire. He ends up missing the entire 2016 season.

November 2017: Gordon is reinstated by the NFL on a conditional basis and is eligible to return to the Browns in Week 13.

September 2018: The Browns announce they're parting ways with Gordon after he "violated the team's trust." He reportedly showed up late to the team's facility after injuring his hamstring during a promotional video shoot. Cleveland trades Gordon to the Patriots on September 17.

December 2018: Gordon announces he's stepping away from the Patriots. Later in the day, the NFL indefinitely suspends him for violating the terms of his reinstatement.

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