Josh Gordon reportedly released off IR and headed to waivers

The Patriots have reportedly released Josh Gordon from injured reserve, signifying the end of the star receiver’s time in New England.

According to a source cited by ESPN’s Josina Anderson, the New England Patriots have decided to release star wide receiver Josh Gordon from their injured reserve list. Gordon was originally placed on IR last week after sustaining a knee injury in New England’s Week 6 win over the New York Giants.

As a result of Gordon’s release, he will now be subject to the NFL’s waiver wire process, and could end up playing for another team almost immediately. While the exact severity of his injury is unknown, it is believed that Gordon was nearing a return to health that would have allowed him to resume game activity before the Patriots placed him on IR. The move apparently was a bit of a surprise even to Gordon himself, who used social media to comment “interesting” underneath the IR news when it first broke.

The mystery surrounding Gordon’s sudden falling out of favor in New England might never get fully revealed. After all, we’re all still wondering what went down between Bill Belichick and Malcolm Butler that led to the star cornerback’s tears and Super Bowl benching a year-and-a-half ago, and the truth may never come out for that episode either.

By most accounts, Gordon was having a productive second season with the Pats. A surprise reinstatement during the offseason after months spent suspended and rehabbing for addiction issues, Gordon was expected to be one of Tom Brady’s primary weapons on offense this season. He supposedly has stayed clean and clear of some of the drug and alcohol problems that have dogged him in the past, but injuries have been the biggest obstacle in 2019 for the talented wide receiver.

Even banged-up, Gordon has shown a toughness and endurance playing through the pain that endeared him to many fans. He memorably left the Week 3 game against the Jets after dislocating his finger and still managed to come back in, eventually coming down with an impressive catch right at the edge of the sideline that made a number of highlight reels back in September.

If there’s not more to this story than we already know, Gordon probably won’t stay unemployed for long. Especially if he’s as healthy and recovered from his knee injury as sources close to him suggest, he’ll probably end up on the roster of a playoff hopeful within a week’s time.

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For New England, the Patriots will rely on Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, and Phillip Dorsett as their top-three receivers from here on out, barring injury. Undrafted rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski round out the depth chart, with Matthew Slater as an emergency option and Devin Ross on the practice squad.

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