Baltimore Ravens

Josh Gordon's year-long suspension upheld, Ravens won't be playing against Browns star

The Ravens' defense won't be competing against Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon this season.

His one-year suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy was upheld by the league after an appeal was heard by vice president Harold Henderson.


Gordon played just one game against the Ravens last season, catching three passes for 44 yards. He was serving a two-game suspension for testing positive for codeine that kept him out of the Browns' first game against the Ravens last year.

"I'd like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,'' Gordon said in a statement released by the NFL Players Association. "I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn't exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff."


At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Gordon is big, fast and strong. He's also unreliable due to a history of failed drug tests. This latest suspension is a result of a failed test for marijuana that Gordon attributed to inhaling second-hand smoke.

That argument hasn't been effective with NFL officials. Ravens safety Will Hill is about to begin serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy. Hill told The Baltimore Sun he blamed his positive test on second-hand marijuana inhalation, and his appeal was also unsuccessful.

Last season, Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in only 14 games. He caught 87 passes and scored nine touchdowns.

Gordon, who was charged in North Carolina this summer with driving under the influence, also faces that case, which could result in further punishment for Gordon under the NFL personal-conduct policy.