Josh Gordon announces his return to Browns after long absence

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Josh Gordon (Getty Images)

Josh Gordon announced Saturday he’s officially returning to the Browns after taking a long absence from the team to deal with personal issues.

In a statement released on Twitter, Gordon thanked the Browns for giving him time away from the field to focus on his overall mental and physical health.

“As I humbly return to being a member of this team with an opportunity to get back to playing this game I love, I realize in order for me to reach my full potential my primary focus must remain on my sobriety and mental well-being,” Gordon said in a statement Saturday.

Browns GM John Dorsey also released a statement Saturday, saying Gordon will gradually ease back into all football activities.

“First off, we are pleased for Josh,” Dorsey said in the statement. “His overall health and well-being is what is most important. We commend Josh for his hard work, commitment and focus on becoming the best version of himself.

“We are glad Josh has reached a point where he can return to our organization, be in our building and be around his teammates. As he assimilates back to our team, Josh will initially participate in meetings and conditioning and will gradually resume all football activities as deemed appropriate.”

Gordon has been away from the team since July 23, when he revealed he would not report to the Browns’ training camp in order to work through personal issues.

The receiver has been suspended multiple times for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, and he missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons before returning last year.