08/16 18:41 CDT NFL conditionally reinstates Patriots WR Josh Gordon
NFL conditionally reinstates Patriots WR Josh Gordon
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) --- Josh Gordon's winding career has included several second
chances following a trail of multiple drug suspensions that cast doubt whether
the talented but troubled playmaker would ever get on an NFL field again.
He's getting yet another opportunity.
The NFL conditionally reinstated the Patriots wide receiver on Friday.
Commissioner Roger Goodell notified Gordon that on Sunday, Gordon can rejoin
the team for meetings and conditioning and individual workouts. After that,
according to a league statement, "Subject to appropriate progress on clinical
care and other arrangements, he will be permitted to participate in team
activities, including practice."
But Gordon is barred from next Thursday's game because of a lack of sufficient
conditioning and practice time.
Gordon had been suspended indefinitely since December 2018 for violations of
the league's substance abuse policy.
The Patriots have stayed mostly mum this preseason about the potential of
Gordon rejoining the team, with coach Bill Belichick saying earlier this month,
"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."
Now they will.
Gordon has been suspended several times by the NFL for violations of its drug
policies since being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2012, and missed the
entire 2015 and 2016 seasons.
After being reinstated in 2017, Gordon revealed in an interview with GQ
magazine that he drank or used marijuana before games. "Probably every game of
my career," he said.
Gordon also said in a 2017 mini-documentary on Uninterreupted.com that he took
Xanax, cocaine, marijuana and other narcotics.
Now he'll return to a Patriots environment in which he was mostly insulated
last season and even flourished in their highly disciplined culture.
Gordon's outlook certainly improved last season after a September trade when
the Browns felt it was time to cut ties. He had 40 receptions for 720 yards and
three touchdowns with the Patriots, five years removed from an All-Pro season
in 2013 with 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.
His return seemingly comes at a perfect time for the Patriots who are eagerly
awaiting the return of Julian Edelman from a thumb injury and have been struck
by a series of injuries at receiver this preseason.
But there are no guarantees Gordon can help the team given his history of
Still, he has never lost the support of his teammates.
Tom Brady, who worked out with Gordon in the offseason, is one of those
"There weren't many opportunities, but he was around and I needed someone to
catch," Brady said last month when asked about the workout. "I've always
enjoyed playing with him and obviously hope everything works out for him. I'm
hoping the best, certainly."
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