Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon practiced with the team on Wednesday for the first time since the 2016 preseason.
Gordon was conditionally reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this month after being suspended numerous times for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The 26-year-old, who hasn’t played in a regular-season game since the end of 2014, ran pass routes and caught passes during the segment of practice — his first since Aug. 31, 2016 — open to reporters.
It was Gordon’s first practice in the regular season since Dec. 26, 2014.
He has been suspended for Cleveland’s past 43 games and 53 of the past 58.
According to several reports, Gordon, who was allowed to work out with his Browns teammates for the first time on Monday, was the most impressive receiver on the practice field Wednesday.
Josh Gordon back at practice. pic.twitter.com/FG833PSsgN
— Dan Labbe (@dan_labbe) November 22, 2017
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) November 22, 2017
“The guy is ultimate talent. We all know it. It is time for him to step in and play his role on this team,” quarterback DeShone Kizer told reporters before practice.
Gordon caught passes from Kizer on Monday, and the rookie quarterback came away impressed.
“It went well. He is a heckuva player, and I’m looking forward to when he is back out there for us,” Kizer told reporters.
Gordon is eligible to be activated beginning Monday, at the team’s discretion. The Browns are not obligated to activate him from the commissioner’s exempt list until Dec. 4. The team could release Gordon at any time.
The first game Gordon is eligible will be Dec. 3 in Los Angeles against the Los Angeles Chargers. He would be eligible to play the final five games of the season.
The last time Gordon played in a regular-season game was Dec. 21, 2014, when he had four catches for 45 yards in a loss to the Carolina Panthers. If he plays against the Chargers, he would have gone 1,078 days between games.
Gordon has only played two complete seasons — 2012 and 2013. He was suspended the first 10 games of 2014 and the final game by the team for missing a walk-through the day before the finale. He led the NFL with 1,646 yards in 2013 when he had 87 receptions and nine touchdown receptions.