Last year, Joe Haden violated the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs by testing positive for the stimulant Adderall. Haden was able to play Week 1 of last season as he awaited the ruling on the suspension. He was eventually suspended without pay for four games.
Josh Gordon, the projected no. 1 wide receiver on the roster, violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The NFL announced today that he will be suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season. Gordon contended in a statement that the positive test was a result of taking codeine.
“Apparently, the medicine I took contained codeine, which is prohibited by the NFL policy,” Gordon said in a statement released by the team. “The policy terms are strict about unintentional ingestion, but the NFL has not imposed the maximum punishment in light of the facts of my case. Therefore, I have chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation. I sincerely apologize for the impact on my team, coaches, and Browns fans. I look forward to working hard in training camp and pre-season, and contributing immediately when I return in Week 3.”
Gordon will be devoid of four game checks as well. He is eligible to return in Week 3.
After being selected in the 2012 NFL supplemental draft, Gordon emerged as the club’s top receiver. He caught 50 passes for 805 yards and five touchdowns. Even more impressively, he averaged 16.1 yards per catch. The Browns, who ranked 19th in passing yards, will likely miss the production of Gordon in the first two weeks of the season as he serves his suspension.