Josh Gordon has taken a step toward a potential return to the football field.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that the Cleveland Browns receiver officially applied for reinstatement, per a source informed of his situation.
ESPN's Tony Grossi first reported the news.
The application is merely a formality. Gordon was suspended on Feb. 3, 2015 for violating the league's policy on substances of abuse. The terms of the suspension allow the wideout to apply for reinstatement as early as 60 days prior to the one-year anniversary of the date of his ban.
The NFL has 60 days to act on the application.
Gordon was given an indefinite suspension after his third volition. He failed a test for alcohol following the 2014 season, after serving a 10-game ban for a DWI arrest.
If reinstated, the 24-year-old receiver would be under contract with the Browns for the 2016 season.
"To be reinstated, a player must demonstrate sustained abstinence," an NFL spokesman told Rapoport in a statement. "In support of their applications, players generally put forward verifiable testing records and/or submit to periodic NFL testing during the banishment period."
Below is Appendix B of the substance abuse policy:
Procedures for Reinstatement Following Stage Three Banishment
Any Player who has been banished under Stage Three may apply formally in writing for reinstatement no sooner than 60 days before the one-year anniversary date of the letter so banishing him.
The application should include all pertinent information about the Player's:
(b) Abstinence from Substances of Abuse throughout the entire period of his banishment;
(c) Involvement with any Substances of Abuse related incidents; and
(d) Arrests and/or convictions for any criminal activity, including Substances of Abuse-related offenses.
Set forth below are the procedures to be used when an application is received by the Commissioner.
1. Within 45 days of receipt of the application, the Player will be interviewed by the Medical Director and the Medical Advisor, after which a recommendation will be made to the Commissioner with regard to the Player's request for reinstatement.
2. The Player will execute appropriate medical release forms that will enable the Commissioner's staff and NFLPA Executive Director's staff to review the Player's substance abuse history, including but not limited to attendance at counseling sessions (individual, group and family); attendance at 12-step and other self-help group meetings; periodic progress reports; and all diagnostic findings and treatment recommendations.
3. The Player will submit to urine testing by an NFL representative at a frequency determined by the Medical Advisor.
4. The Player will agree in a meeting with the Commissioner or his representative(s) to comply with the conditions imposed by the Commissioner for his reinstatement to the status of an active Player.
5. All individuals involved in the process will take steps to enable the Commissioner to render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the application.