There was hope that Josh Gordon would be able to turn his career down the right path after the New England Patriots acquired him from the Cleveland Browns. The deal came early in the 2018 NFL season and while Gordon has dealt with his fair share of personal battles, he was set to receive a clean slate with the Patriots.
While things began well for Gordon and he gained the trust of quarterback Tom Brady over time, it took a tough turn in late December. The former Browns receiver has struggled with substance abuse addiction for a long time and revealed on social media that he would be stepping away from the game. As the 27-year-old stated, his focus would turn to his mental health.
“I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level. 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 or their continued support. I want to thanks my fans for their support as well as I continue down the path getting back to 100%.” Gordon wrote.
Gordon was handed an indefinite suspension by the league shortly after for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the league’s substance abuse policy, as NFL.com’s Kevin Patra detailed. While he’s been away from the team, there have been a few interesting pieces of information that have come to light on the young receiver, including eye-opening reports.
Josh Gordon Suffered ‘Darkest Times’ With Patriots
Although Gordon received a fresh start, things weren’t easy for the receiver. It’s unquestionably been an ongoing battle for Gordon, who hasn’t played a full NFL season in his career. But at this point, his personal health is far more important than anything relating to football.
As NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported, the Patriots receiver dealt with “some of his darkest times” while in New England.
During his time in New England, he went through some of his darkest times, according to sources.
By the time his suspension was official, his issues were real, serious and related to far more than just marijuana. Good progress is being made now, sources say, and while Gordon wants to play football, it’s clear that recovery is his first priority.
Rapoport explained the situation impacted Gordon around the team as well, and he battled multiple issues during his first season in New England.
He was late several times and battled other issues related to handling responsibility and promptness. During a late-season game, the plan was for Gordon to sit a quarter due to a variety of infractions and he was informed of that penalty, although it never ended up happening.
It’s unknown what all went on behind closed doors, but the hope is that Gordon can turn the corner and take a big step forward in his recovery. In the meantime, he’ll watch the Patriots in the Super Bowl from an in-patient treatment center.
Josh Gordon Currently at in-Patient Treatment in Florida
While Gordon currently gets treatment, he’s doing so at a center in Gainesville, Florida, as NESN’s Doug Kyed reported. According to Kyed, the Patriots were planning to pay for Gordon’s treatment, but it’s actually covered through the NFL Players Association.
Payment for Gordon’s treatment is covered through the NFL Players Association, the source said. The Patriots declined to comment on the situation.
The team, the NFL and the NFLPA are working with Gordon to treat his drug addiction. The goal is for the receiver to function in life and football.
He’s also been granted freedom to workout during his time at the facility and it’s apparent that he has some level of focus on a possible return to the NFL, even if it happens down the road. For now, Gordon remains a part of the Patriots franchise and is continuing to improve his personal health. Whether the NFL is a part of his future or not remains a question that may not be answered anytime soon.