Josh Gordon issues statement, says he's 'eternally grateful' for support of Patriots, NFL, NFLPA

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

Josh Gordon is set to return to the field again, as the New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.

Gordon was recently reinstated by the NFL after a suspension that began late in the 2018 season.

On Friday, he released a statement on social media in advance of the regular season opener.

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‘I am eternally grateful’

In a statement, Patriots receiver Josh Gordon said he only wants to focus on the present. (Getty Images)
In a statement, Patriots receiver Josh Gordon said he only wants to focus on the present. (Getty Images)

In a signed statement on Twitter, Gordon wrote:

“Before the 2019 season starts, I would like to address an issue that arose toward the end of last season. It’s been well documented that I have battled substance abuse for quite some time. Unfortunately, I did not take the time to focus on a solution to my problem until this past year.

“I am eternally grateful for the constant support from the NFL, NFLPA and the Patriots organization. I also want to thank my family, friends and all the fans who supported me while I addressed this issue.

“Going forward, I will not be discussing the details of my past. I plan to focus on the present and getting better every day. I hope people will judge me on what I do now and in the future. I look forward to being a member of the Patriots once again this season and doing my part by contributing on and off the field.”

Patriots players have enthusiastically welcomed Gordon back since he was reinstated last month; in the spring, Tom Brady posted photos to Instagram that showed him throwing to the 28-year-old Gordon.

Gordon produces when he’s on the field

Having Gordon provides a boost to the Patriots, who largely have a young receiving group.

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In 11 games last season with New England last season, after being traded from Cleveland, Gordon had 40 catches for 720 yards (18.0 yards per catch) and three touchdowns.

A second-round draft pick in 2012, Gordon was a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler in 2013 after leading the NFL with 1,646 yards on 87 catches.

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