Josh Gordon details how he drank or did drugs before every game

Shutdown Corner

Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon’s revelation to GQ that he drank or did drugs before every one of his football games is mind-blowing.

Gordon had one of the most spectacular seasons in recent memory, leading the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013 at age 22, despite playing just 14 games and with subpar quarterbacks. He became the first receiver in NFL history to have 200 yards in back-to-back games.

Gordon did that while he was under the influence for every game, he says.

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He told GQ he drank alcohol or smoked marijuana, “Every game. Probably every game of my career.” That includes college. Gordon played two seasons at Baylor. He described to GQ how he would drink or do drugs before games.

“We would stay at the team hotel and then players are allowed to go back home, get what they need, and then go to the game,” Gordon told GQ. “So I’d leave the hotel early morning, go home, eat breakfast, do my little ritual, whatever it may be, some weed, some alcohol, and then go to the game. And then, I’d definitely be partying after every game, win or lose. Every game.”

Gordon said he would have pre-made shots, and he preferred Grand Marnier or whiskey, or “would take the biggest bong rip I could” before games. Gordon said he wasn’t the only one.

“A bunch of guys smoke weed before the game,” Gordon said.

Gordon has been honest about his struggles with drugs and alcohol as he finally makes his way back to the NFL. He’s conditionally reinstated and could practice as soon as Nov. 20. Since his unbelievable 2013 season, he has played only five games due to suspensions and time in rehab.

He told GQ he had to get help because, “at this point in time, the trajectory, you’re going to die. You’re going to kill yourself.”

The entire interview is startling, because Gordon goes into full detail about using drugs and alcohol and even getting heckled by Cleveland fans. He said the pressure of being recognized and criticized in Cleveland is why he went to Gainesville, Florida, to get help. GQ asked if he was a “functioning alcoholic” when he was playing while under the influence, and Gordon said he was.

“Highly functioning. For sure,” Gordon told GQ. “[I] definitely pushed the limit. I don’t know how I did it. It could be before games, it could be before practice, after practice. You see other guys kinda doing it, but I would take it to another level a lot of times.”

In this Sept. 1, 2016 file photo, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon warms up before a preseason game. (AP)
In this Sept. 1, 2016 file photo, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon warms up before a preseason game. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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