Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, who has not played since 2014, is applying for reinstatement Wednesday, his business manager said.
A league spokesman declined to comment on Gordon's possible application for reinstatement.
Goodell reinstated Gordon on a conditional basis last season, and the Pro Bowl wideout couldn't meet the conditions.
He was on the brink of returning from a four-game suspension to play for the Browns Oct. 9 against the New England Patriots when he announced September 29 he would instead step away from his comeback attempt to enter inpatient rehabilitation.
Coach Hue Jackson told reporters last season that the team was looking ahead without Gordon, saying: "We wish him well". The Browns selected him in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft. Gordon has been suspended since 2014, and according to his business manager is working through a "strict protocol" to get himself back into the league. His listed agent is Joby Branion of Vanguard Sports Group. "We're going to move on". Gordon was scheduled to rejoin the team at practice last October 3 and play October 9 against the New England Patriots before deciding to check into the rehab facility.
Josh Gordon is ready to return to the gridiron.
While his talent is undeniable, Gordon hasn't appeared in an National Football League regular-season game since 2014 and has been suspended for 43 of his last 48 games due to multiple violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Goodell can immediately and unconditionally reinstate Gordon, leaving his immediate future in the hands of the Browns.
In a statement released by the Browns last season, Gordon indicated he needed rehab before he could try to resume his career. "I think that's a pretty complicated process at this point given, kind of, his history".
No one can be certain that the NFL will let Gordon back in the league, or that he will even be a member of the Browns in 2017. "(It gave me) that sense of nostalgia of, this is where I belong, this is where I need to be, this stage was meant for me to play on. "Just doing it consistently and being here for this team, that's really where it starts at and that's what I want to do".