The NFL conditionally reinstated Josh Gordon to potentially make his season debut as soon as Week 16, and it looks like the Seattle Seahawks receiver has met these terms to return to action. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Gordon is on schedule to begin practicing this week ahead of the Seahawks’ massive showdown against the Rams. Pelissero added that Gordon appears to be in phenomenal shape as the Seahawks march towards the playoffs.
“Seahawks WR Josh Gordon has adhered to the terms of his conditional reinstatement and is set to rejoin the team Monday, per source,” Pelissero noted on Twitter. “He hasn’t practiced yet, but he reported at 238 pounds with 7% body fat and is eligible to play next week.”
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll emphasized on multiple occasions that the team wanted Gordon to be aggressive in his conditioning so that he was ready to take the field when his suspension was lifted. The Seahawks have a one-game lead on the Rams for the NFC West title heading into their Week 16 matchup.
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Carroll on Gordon: ‘He’s Really Fit’
When Gordon does take the field, it will be his first NFL game in more than a year after the receiver was suspended indefinitely in December 2019. Heading into Week 15, Carroll described Gordon as “really fit” in his return to the Seahawks as the receiver ramped up his work in an attempt to be ready to potentially play this week.
“Josh’s workouts are going great,” Carroll said prior to Seattle’s matchup with Washington, via NBC Sports’ Joe Fann. “He’s really fit. He feels really good. He feels like he’s ready to jump on the practice field. …This is a really important week for us to be able to finish it up. He needs to be game speed and game tempo and conditioning and all that. It’s a lot to ask, but that’s what we’re asking. He’s working like crazy. We’ve really stepped it up for him to make sure that he’s challenged by that.”
Gordon Enters a Crowded Seahawks Receiver Group
The big question is how Gordon will fit into a deep receiving group that has been productive in his absence. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are clearly the team’s top receivers, but David Moore along with Freddie Swain have also contributed this season. Gordon offers more explosiveness than either receiver, but it will be interesting to see if the long layoff has any impact on his play.
The only significant injury the Seahawks have dealt with at the position is Phillip Dorsett who has not played this season after signing with the team in free agency. Judging by Gordon’s social media, the receiver has been locked into the Seahawks’ games even while he has not been able to play.
“Gameday. Can’t wait…Huge W 🗣” Gordon noted in a series of tweets.
Like many offenses across the NFL, the Seahawks’ unit has slowed down from its hot start. Even if Gordon is able to contribute situationally, it will be a welcome boost to an offense looking to play its best football heading into the postseason.