The NFL on Thursday officially suspended New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon, hours after Gordon announced that he planned to step away from football indefinitely to address his mental health.
Dec 16, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon (10) warms up before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Gordon has been returned to the Reserve/Commissioner Suspended list indefinitely for violating terms of his reinstatement from a yearlong ban for substance abuse.
Gordon, 27, was suspended the entire 2015 season, one year after serving a two-game suspension, all for drug violations, and has been banned a total of 56 games in his career.
Gordon earlier in the day released a statement saying he was taking another leave.
“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 of getting back to 100 (percent).”
“We support Josh Gordon in his continued efforts to focus on his health,” the Patriots said in a statement released 45 minutes after Gordon posted his message to Twitter. “His attempt to do so is a private matter, which we intend to respect.”
Gordon took a leave from the Cleveland Browns lasting more than three weeks in August. The Patriots acquired him from the Browns via trade in September. Gordon had 40 receptions and three touchdowns — averaging 18 yards per catch — in 11 games played with the Patriots. He was inactive Sept. 23 at Detroit.
Without Gordon, the Patriots’ receiving corps has no legitimate lead receiver.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski has not been his All-Pro self because of injuries, but is still third on the team with 45 catches and three scores.
The news comes as the Patriots make a push for another playoff run while sitting at 9-5 and coming off of a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in which the New England offense managed only 10 points.
In three of the team’s five losses this season, the Patriots scored just 10 points (Pittsburgh, Detroit, Tennessee).
—Field Level Media