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NFL reinstates Gordon, can play in final 2 games for Seattle

(AP Photo/Brian Blanco, File)

By TIM BOOTH

AP Sports Writer

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Josh Gordon was conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Thursday and can begin the process of joining the Seattle Seahawks' roster as early as Friday.

Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Gordon after nearly a one-year suspension following his latest off-field transgression for violations of the league's substance abuse policies. Gordon was suspended in December 2019 for violating the league's drug policy. He tested positive for performance enhancers and "substances of abuse," the league said in a statement at the time.

It was the eighth time overall Gordon had been suspended by either his team or the NFL, including six times since 2013, mostly for violating the league's policies on banned substances.

But his time in Seattle last season was mostly positive and the Seahawks signed Gordon in September knowing there would be no guarantee that Gordon would be reinstated during the 2020 season.

The league said Gordon can begin COVID-19 testing on Friday and may begin attending team and individual meetings next Wednesday should his tests come back negative. He can also begin individual workouts and strength and conditioning.

Gordon cannot practice with the team until Dec. 21 following Seattle's Week 15 game at Washington. Gordon would be eligible to play in Seattle's final two regular-season games.

Gordon posted a video to Instagram shortly after his reinstatement was announced showing some of the work he's been doing on his own in the Seattle area while waiting for his chance to return.

The former All-Pro signed with Seattle midway through last season after he was released by New England. He made a strong impression in the Seahawks' locker room even with limited production on the field. Gordon had seven catches for 139 yards over five games. But he found an advocate in quarterback Russell Wilson, who bonded with Gordon during his short time on the roster.

Wilson said Thursday he heard about Gordon's reinstatement as he was coming off the field following Seattle's walkthrough. Wilson said he's checked in with Gordon periodically during the wait to see if and when he'd return.

Wilson said one of the more impressive aspects of Gordon's arrival last year was how quickly he acclimated to a new team.

"He did a tremendous job of really bonding with the guys, fitting in the right way. He was about the approach, he was studying his playbook, he was ready to roll," Wilson said. "He make great plays for us too at the same time, but he fit in the right way."

A 2012 second-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns, Gordon was also suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season for a substance-abuse policy violation, yet still caught 87 passes for nine touchdowns and a league-leading 1,646 yards and was voted to the All-Pro team.

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Updated December 3, 2020

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