According to reports, New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon will once again be stepping away from the game of football to focus on his own mental health.
“I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level,” Gordon said via Twitter. “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 getting back to 100%.”
The Patriots organization also released a statement Thursday regarding Gordon’s decision and wish him all the best.
Gordon was traded to New England from Cleveland on Sept. 17 in exchange for a pick. In his 11 games with the Patriots, he has caught 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns, becoming a key piece and deep threat in the Patriots offensive attack led by quarterback Tom Brady. New England is currently in first place in the AFC East at 9-5.
Twice this season, Gordon has said at some point he was going to step away to get the help he needs to fight this battle. He’s been transparent about his battles with addiction which included him stating that he used to play games and come to practice while being under the influence in his years with Cleveland.
Gordon has been suspended several times in his career by the Browns and the NFL for violating their drug policies. He missed both the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Additionally, it seems that he may miss some time again.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that the 27-year-old wide receiver is facing an indefinite suspension for “violating terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy.”
The former pro bowl receiver was a player that many thought with his talent had hall of fame potential. However, he’s fallen on hard times and has tried to turn himself around on multiple occasions.
Gordon’s absence will hurt the Patriots some because of his impact that he’s had with the team since being there and the playoffs are around the corner and Brady is looking to win yet another ring.
However, when you have a guy saying that he wants to get a better handle on his mental health, football takes a back seat and you have to support a man who’s being this open about it. New England is a first-class organization and have shown their support and you’d hope, depending on the NFL’s punishment, that he can come back and play for the Patriots.
But, the focus for Gordon right now should be getting the help he needs, and coming back to the field a better man once he faces his demons. Good luck, Gordon.