When the New England Patriots acquired wide receiver Josh Gordon via trade in late September, they brought in a highly talented pass catcher for quarterback Tom Brady to work with — but one that missed most of the past two seasons due to suspension. And even though his Patriots career started well, it looks as if Gordon will not be able to continue it.
As the wide receiver announced via social media earlier today, he is taking a temporarily leave from the game:
I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level. I have recently felt like I could have a better grasp on things mentally. With that said, I will be stepping away from the football field for a bit to focus on my mental health. I would like to thank Coach Belichick, Mr. Kraft, as well as countless others within the Patriots organization for their continued support. I want to thank my fans for their support as well as I continue down the path getting back to 100%.
This is obviously big news for the Patriots as Gordon has been one of the team’s top two wide receivers ever since the club acquired him from the Cleveland Browns but the football aspect certainly takes a back seat here: Gordon’s mental health is what he needs to focus on and if stepping away from the game — no matter for how long it will be — helps, it is the best decision he and the club could have made.
We wish Josh all the best on his journey and hope his time away from football will help him with his struggles!
[UPDATE] According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Gordon faces an indefinite suspension for violating terms of his reinstatement under the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
[UPDATE] The Patriots organization has released a brief statement on the news:
We support Josh Gordon in his continued efforts to focus on his health. His attempt to do so is a private and personal matter, which we intend to respect.
[UPDATE] The NFL has officially and indefinitely moved Gordon to the Reserve/Suspended list for violations against this terms of reinstatement. New England has an open spot on its roster now.
[UPDATE] According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Gordon will not be back with the Patriots this year and there is a realistic chance that he will miss at least parts of next season as well.