New England Patriots

Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon announced via his Twitter account on Thursday that he’s stepping away from football to “focus on my mental health.” His full statement is below.

Shortly after his statement, the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted that Gordon is facing another indefinite suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Gordon played 11 games with the Patriots this season, catching 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns. He played 58 out of a possible 63 snaps against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, but was taken off the field for the final offensive play of the game for the Patriots.

The veteran receiver has been suspended on four separate occasions in his career, mostly for league violations related to substance abuse. The Browns suspended him one game (Week 17 of the 2014 season) for a violation of team rules.

Gordon didn’t play between Week 16 of the 2014 season and Week 13 of the 2017 season, mostly due to an indefinite suspension as he worked toward reinstatement. The NFL finally reinstated him in Nov. 2017 on a conditional basis, and he played six more games for the Browns before being traded to the Patriots for a fifth-round pick.

Per Pelissero’s report, Gordon’s next suspension will be for a violation of the terms of his reinstatement agreement.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted on Thursday that Gordon’s situation is “going to banishment”, presumably from the entire NFL. Even if Gordon gets reinstated again one day, it would be hard to believe that he’ll get another chance.

The most important thing is that he works on and hopefully improves upon the personal issues that he’s battled for his entire pro football career. He admitted in a candid GQ story that he started experimenting with drugs in middle school.

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