By Nick Shook
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Justin Gilbert‘s road back to an NFL field continues to become more difficult.
Less than two months after being suspended four games by the NFL for violation of the league’s Substances of Abuse policy, the former eighth-overall pick had his suspension increased to one year by Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday for again violating the league’s policy, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Gilbert must apply for reinstatement before he can possibly return to the NFL in 2018, Rapoport added.
Gilbert was originally selected out of Oklahoma State in the first round of the 2014 draft in a Browns class that also included quarterback Johnny Manziel. Much like the former Heisman Trophy winner, Gilbert’s career in Cleveland was a massive disappointment that never got off the ground thanks to a lack of maturity and desire to improve. Cleveland traded the troublesome cornerback to division rival Pittsburgh, where Gilbert appeared in 12 games primarily as a special teamer, returning three kicks for 69 yards.
The Steelers released Gilbert on Feb. 6, prompting former Browns teammate Joe Thomas to comment on Gilbert’s apparent dislike for the game. When combined with a year ban from football, it’s reasonable to wonder if this will be the last we hear of Gilbert associated with the NFL.