After the shocking 30-24 loss against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs knew they had to do something to make them serious Super Bowl contenders. In just 24 hours, they began the (re)building process.
On Monday, ESPN senior NFL reporter Adam Schefter tweeted that wide receiver Josh Gordon is signing with the team, with his agents Eric Dounn and Matt Leist confirming the news.
In the minutes following Schefter’s tweet, Gordon posted remarks of his own, saying he was ready to “get to work” in Kansas City.
According to The Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope, Kansas City is signing Gordon to the practice squad, with plans to promote him to the 53-man roster once “he’s up to speed.”
“We are grateful that the NFL appreciates the work that Josh put in and now he has earned another opportunity to be part of this league,” Gordon’s agent, Zac Hiller said on Friday, September 24, via ESPN. “We are proud of Josh, and I know all the fans can’t wait to see him on Sundays.”
Per the same ESPN article, the 30-year-old could be eligible to play this coming Sunday when the Chiefs pay head coach Andy Reid’s old stomping grounds a visit in Philadelphia.
Gordon Has Been Suspended Six Times by the NFL
Though extremely talented, Gordon does come with a significant amount of caution. The Houston native has been suspended by the league six times, five of those stemming from concerns relating to substance abuse.
His first league suspension came in 2013, after the NFL found Gordon was violating the substance-abuse policy. Before training camp in 2014, Sportscasting.com reports Gordon Gordon was detained for a DWI and consequently suspended for the entire upcoming campaign.
The last time Gordon was indefinitely suspended was in December 2019 for defying the league’s protocol on substance abuse and performance-enhancing substances.
The Baylor product submitted his reinstatement paperwork to commissioner Roger Goodell in July and per ESPN, the NFL’s Player Association recommended that he be reinstated. According to a source close to ESPN, Gordon’s Goodell approved Gordon’s return on Monday.
Gordon’s Substance Abuse Issues Began as a Teenager
A round two pick in the 2012 supplemental draft, per a 2017 feature in GQ, his battle with substance abuse dates back to middle school.
“The anxiety, the fitting in and stuff. Not being comfortable with who I was,” he said. “Socially, I felt awkward, talking with people, telling them where I was living. Other kids have nicer stuff than you, ‘you’re poor’ type of s–t. A lot of inadequacy, I think, is the reason why I initially got into it.”
In that same interview with Clay Skipper, Gordon says he initially began using as coping mechanism with “childhood and adolescent trauma-based fear.”
“I didn’t want to feel anxiety, I didn’t want to feel fear. I didn’t plan on living to 18. Day-to-day life, what’s gonna happen next? So you self-medicate with Xanax, with marijuana, codeine—to help numb those nerves so you can just function every day. That became the norm from middle school to high school. So by the time I got into my 20s, I was on an accelerated pace.”
Details of his contract have yet to be revealed, but we’ll be sure to update when they are confirmed.