Josh Gordon is ready to return to the NFL. Now it’s up to the league to let him play.
The 28-year-old wide receiver for New England has applied for reinstatement with the league, according to ProFootballTalk.com, after his latest violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy in December 2018 left him suspended indefinitely.
At the time, Gordon announced he was stepping away from football to focus on his mental health. He has repeatedly been treated for substance abuse issues in his past.
New England acquired Gordon in 2018 from the Cleveland Browns for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick — which was later used to select kicker Austin Seibert from Oklahoma. After slowly integrating himself into the Patriots’ offense, Gordon began building a connection with quarterback Tom Brady, culminating in 720 yards and three touchdowns on 40 receptions in 11 games played.
Gordon stepped away from the team just ahead of the playoffs where the Patriots went onto win their sixth Super Bowl.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, “We don’t have anything to do with Josh Gordon. He’s suspended. You need to talk to the league. We have no control over Josh Gordon.”
From a purely football standpoint, there’s no question that New England has plenty to gain from a potential reinstatement of Gordon. The wideout spent portions of his summer working with Brady, and with the retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski, would provide a much-needed big-play threat on the field.
That would seem to be a bit premature to envision at this point. The NFL has a decision to make and it’s anyone’s guess which way that will turn out.
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