Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon to enter rehab

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is entering an in-patient rehabilitation facility, the team announced on Thursday.

Gordon was suspended for the first four games of this season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

He was expected to play in his first regular-season game since December 2014 against the Patriots on Oct. 9.

Instead, he released the following statement through the Browns:

“After careful thought and deep consideration I’ve decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and my football career to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility. This is the right decision for me and one that I hope will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person. I appreciate the support of the NFL, NFLPA, the Browns, my teammates, my agent and the community through this extremely challenging process.”

Gordon, 25, has been suspended multiple times by the NFL, and had substance-abuse issues in college as well at Baylor and Utah. Gordon has played just five games since the end of the 2013 season because of NFL suspensions. He missed all of last season. The last time he played close to a full season was 2013, when he led the NFL with 1,646 yards.

Gordon was back in the news last week, when he was issued an arrest warrant for failing to respond to multiple subpoenas in a paternity case. That warrant didn’t affect the length of his NFL suspension.