Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will be eligible to return to the NFL next month after years away due to multiple failed drug tests and substance abuse.
It was a long road back for Gordon, who recently opened up about when his substance abuse began.
According to Gordon, he first began using drugs in middle school and the reason for his use is as heart-breaking as you would expect.
In an interview with GQ Magazine Gordon said, “Initially it started for me, [because of] a lot of childhood and adolescent trauma-based fear. I was using in my childhood. That environment brought me into that a lot sooner than a normal—whatever normal is—kid should be brought into that, to be able to make a decision on their own of what to do.
“I didn’t want to feel anxiety, I didn’t want to feel fear. I didn’t plan on living to 18. Day-to-day life, what’s gonna happen next? So you self-medicate with Xanax, with marijuana, codeine—to help numb those nerves so you can just function every day. That became the norm from middle school to high school. So by the time I got into my 20s, I was on an accelerated pace.”
Gordon can rejoin the Browns officially on Nov. 20.
The wide receiver has not stepped foot on the NFL field since 2014. Prior to his suspensions, Gordon was viewed as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL.
Now, he says he is in better shape than ever before, so the Browns could be getting a great weapon back on the outside.
If Gordon is able to return to his top form, we could be seeing one of the best redemption stories in sports.