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Josh Gordon is applying for reinstatement, but exactly when he could return to field is hard to tell

Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times on

Published in Football

SEATTLE -- Josh Gordon is back in Seattle and hoping he can get back in football.

Gordon, who played five games for the Seahawks last season, will be applying for reinstatement to the NFL soon, according to a report from Pro Football Talk on Thursday morning. That report came a day after Gordon tweeted that he was in Seattle, posting a picture of him working out on a local field.

Those two items might lead to the conclusion that Gordon could again be a Seahawk in the near future.

But exactly how the process will play out remains unclear.

First, as PFT notes, if Gordon is reinstated -- and there's no timeline for when a decision will be made -- he becomes an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team. The Seahawks picked up the rest of Gordon's one-year deal when they claimed him off waivers Nov. 1, and that contract ran out and Gordon became a free agent in March.

And second, and more important, it's hard to know what the NFL will decide.

 

Gordon was indefinitely suspended on Dec. 16 for using performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse.

The PED suspension alone would cost Gordon four games under the league's policy. Gordon missed the Seahawks' final two regular-season games and the two playoff games, which apparently would all count as part of any suspension, contrary to some earlier reports. PED violations are typically a four-game suspension, so the NFL could rule that that punishment has been served. But that would still leave the NFL having to consider if there would be more games to serve for the violation for substances of abuse.

According to Gordon's official NFL bio page, he has had six other suspensions by the NFL in his career for violating the substances-of-abuse policy, two for an entire season. He also had another that was from the Browns, meaning his suspension last year was the eighth total of his NFL career, which began in 2012.

ESPN.com previously reported that Gordon "is beholden to the old rules" regarding reinstatement, and not those included in the league's new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is a bit more lenient in its drug policy.

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