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NFL denies Josh Gordon's petition for reinstatement

The exodus of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon rages on.

The NFL has denied Gordon's reinstatement petition, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, per a league source.

USA Today's Tom Pelissero first reported the development.

Gordon, 26, filed papers in March to have his indefinite suspension lifted. It was no sure bet reinstatement would be granted after the pass-catcher voluntarily entered an in-patient rehabilitation facility last October to, in his words, "gain full control of my life."

Earlier this offseason, Gordon's business manager, Michael Johnson, told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the receiver was faring well in his recovery.

"Josh is living with me and is in the best place mentally that he has been in dating back years before entering the NFL," Johnson said. "He has taken the proper steps to treat his issues and has followed a very strict protocol that the league and our team here has laid out for him. He's also in the best shape of his life and feels even better than he did when he had his breakout year in 2013. This will be a special year for Josh and we are all very proud of the way he has taken the necessary steps to turn his life around."

Anything resembling a "special year" is on hold for Gordon, who hasn't appeared in a regular-season game since 2014.

The Browns weren't holding their breath for his return, having signed veteran Kenny Britt in the offseason to pair with 2016 first-round wideout Corey Coleman. Behind the duo, Cleveland has second-year receivers Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis and a fellow flock of untested targets.

It's hardly an all-star group, but waiting around for Gordon to get back on track has become a fool's errand.

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