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Joe Thomas: ‘It’s going to be tough’ for Josh Gordon to stay sober

Josh Gordon is attempting to once again resurrect his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns after myriad setbacks and multiple suspensions due to significant substance-abuse issues.

Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who saw Gordon fail again and again to put his troubled past behind him, believes the NFL environment may make it difficult for the wide receiver to maintain his sobriety.

Thomas witnessed firsthand Gordon’s last attempt at staying on the straight and narrow. It occurred during the 2014 season, when Gordon returned to his partying ways alongside Johnny Manziel, who also saw his NFL career derailed in similar fashion.

Perhaps that is why Thomas is hedging his bets on Gordon making a successful comeback, despite the remarkable strides the wide receiver seems to have made.

“You’re definitely seeing the commitment from Josh right now in the facility, but I do agree that he’s going to have some bumps in the road coming back,” Thomas said Wednesday on 92.3 The Fan, as transcribed by Cleveland.com. “I’m not an addiction specialist. I don’t really understand his side of things too well, but I know that when you’re in a controlled environment, when you’re around other addicts and you’re in those meetings, and those programs, it’s powerful to be around those people because it’s uplifting and they’re fighting the same fight you are.”

Thomas also pointed out that “pro football players like to party” and wondered if Gordon can avoid potential pitfalls.

“I mean, they’re going to be testing him every single week for everything and one more slip-up and it might be over, so it’s going to be tough for him because he wants to be able to relate to those players, he wants to sit there and hang out with his friends and become one of the teammates, become one of the guys but he’s got to be careful not to ever cross that line, because he’s not the type of person that can handle one drink.”

It remains to be seen whether Gordon can succeed with sobriety this time. One thing is certain: This is his last chance in the NFL.