Former New England Patriots receiver Josh Gordon has reportedly been suspended indefinitely once again by the NFL for substance abuse issues.
According to a new report from ESPN that came out late Monday afternoon, wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL. The suspension is allegedly tied to Gordon’s violation of league policies on “performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse.”
It’s unknown exactly what kind of infraction Gordon is guilty of, but this certainly isn’t his first rodeo when it comes to substance abuse and the NFL’s code of conduct for its players. Almost exactly one year ago (December 20, 2018), Gordon was indefinitely suspended by the league for a failed drug test. He missed the end of the New England Patriots‘ regular season and the team’s entire postseason run and Super Bowl championship.
Gordon was conditionally reinstated by the league just before the 2019 regular season began. He rejoined his Patriots teammates for the first six games of the season before ending up on IR in New England and ultimately hitting waivers. The Seattle Seahawks claimed him shortly thereafter, and Gordon played in five games for the Seahawks before getting suspended.
The talented but troubled wideout had 20 receptions for 287 receiving yards and a touchdown with the Patriots this season, and had seven receptions for 139 receiving yards and no touchdowns with the Seahawks this season. He also had 40 receptions for 720 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season with New England across 11 regular season games.
This is now Gordon’s sixth suspension since the 2013 season, and the fifth that comes as a direct result of some form of substance abuse. Gordon missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons while serving suspensions; he’s played a full 16-game season just once in his NFL career, and it came all the way back in 2012 when he was still a rookie with the Cleveland Browns.
Gordon earned Pro Bowl honors in his second season with the Browns after he caught 87 passes for 1,646 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Though he played sparingly in the 2014 and 2017 seasons, his work with Tom Brady and the Patriots during the 2018 season led many to believe that he’d finally overcome some of his personal demons.
Unfortunately that was not the case, as Gordon left the team and checked himself into a rehabilitation center just as the league was levying their indefinite suspension against him. Gordon was somewhat unceremoniously let go by the Patriots earlier this year in October – a strange development at the time considering the team’s perilously thin and inexperienced receiver group this season.
Perhaps Bill Belichick knew something back then that the rest of the media and fans did not. Or perhaps he just decided it was time to move on from Gordon, considering the mercurial wideout’s production had significantly lessened in his second season as a Patriot.
Whatever the reasons were for Gordon’s release at the time, New England has to be thankful on some level that this most recent suspension occurs while he’s a member of the Seahawks. The Patriots have once again found themselves engulfed in drama this season thanks to their brief union with Antonio Brown and the recent news surrounding their production crew that got caught filming the Bengals sideline illegally over a week ago in “Spygate 2.0.”
Hopefully Josh Gordon takes this latest setback seriously, and understands the need to clean up his life and get the help he needs. Clearly whatever he’s done in the past as far as recovery work is concerned just isn’t doing enough for him long-term; his future in the NFL may be all but over at this point given his many transgressions, but it’s never too late for him as a person to absolve himself of his addiction issues.