The safety, however, believes the talented but troubled receiver can bounce back to his All-Pro form.
"I understand he's a young guy,'' Whitner told Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. "He's made a few mistakes in his career, and when you hit rock bottom the way he did, there's nowhere else to go but up.''
Whitner said he's seen Gordon work himself back into shape in anticipation of returning to the team after a yearlong absence. Whitner estimated that Gordon ballooned to 255 pounds, 30 more than the 6-foot-3 receiver's listed weight of 225.
"Over the last couple months, just watching him, watching Instagram and the hard work that he put in, the transformation that he made with his body, I remember seeing him at the 9 downtown and him being like 255 pounds, and then going on down to four or five or six months later, shedding 20, 25, 30 pounds and looking like he did before the suspension started,'' Whitner said. "I understand that he's very dedicated. I understand that he can go out there and do anything he wants to do on the football field."
Gordon recently applied for reinstatement from his indefinite suspension after multiple violations of the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
After hitting rock bottom, perhaps a newly svelte Gordon is ready to return for good.