Cleveland Browns: Josh Gordon’s latest setback bigger than football

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Sep 1, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) warms up before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Chicago Bears at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 1, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) warms up before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Chicago Bears at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon made the decision to enter a rehab facility, taking away the chance of Gordon returning in Week 5.

The Cleveland Browns drafted four wide receivers in the 2016 NFL Draft with the mindset that while Josh Gordon could come back, it was never a guarantee.

That belief was validated Thursday when Gordon announced he would be entering a rehab facility, just a few days before he was set to be reinstated for a Week 5 return.

Personal health should always be an individual’s top priority, so it is great to see Gordon taking care of himself. Clearly, he felt this was a necessary step, so it is much better to see him do this than to appear in the news for another relapse, ultimately ending his once-promising NFL career.

Fans must realize that if Gordon thinks he needs to do this, there should be no ill will directed toward him. While some allow football to determine their mood for the week, or the month, it is not the most important thing in the world. And if someone supposed to help the team cannot do that at a comfortable level mentally, there is no reason for that individual to be on the field.

While this is a positive step forward for Gordon, it may signal the end of his tenure in Cleveland. The team had the chance to trade him earlier this year and passed, but once he is out of rehab, he may be a name that comes up. It was smart to keep him in the hopes he could return, but with all the young receivers brought to town, it may be time to let Gordon’s story take place in another city.

Terrelle Pryor‘s breakout season will help to fill Gordon’s void, although his lack of actual appearances makes it less of an actual void, and more of a hypothetical situation of what could have been.

Gordon going to rehab brings up parallels to the situation of Johnny Manziel, but Gordon’s transgressions have always been on a smaller scale. While Manziel was continually acting ridiculous in the public spotlight, Gordon’s problems were never top stories on TMZ. His decision to go to rehab is also being received as a positive step, compared to when Manziel went and his tenure with the Browns was already ruined beyond repair.

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So the Browns will likely be without Gordon for the foreseeable future, and if he does want to play football beyond 2016, it may not be with the Browns. There is the chance he can try to rejoin the team this season, but it may be wise for Gordon to take his time and not rush the process. There is still a great career ahead for Gordon if he wants it, and hopefully he will put himself in a spot to succeed.

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