New England Patriots

The New England Patriots did everything in their power to keep wide receiver Josh Gordon out of trouble, as detailed in a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday.┬áBut still, it was the team’s bye week that first reopened the door to the struggles that have haunted and derailed Gordon’s NFL career once again.

From Schefter:

The Patriots assigned people to be with Gordon at all times so that he could avoid the temptations that landed him on the suspended list last week, according to sources.

Sources believe that Gordon somehow eluded New England’s security team during the Patriots’ Nov. 18 bye weekend. Gordon was suspended indefinitely Thursday for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement under the NFL’s drug policy.

It was apparently the start of a string that led to ‘multiple violations’ that went beyond just marijuana that led to Gordon’s latest indefinite ban from playing football, per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The 27-year-old Gordon seemingly knew the suspension was coming, too, announcing that he was stepping away from the Patriots to focus on his mental health just hours before the news broke.┬áThe Patriots, meanwhile, have repeatedly voiced their support for the talented-but-troubled wideout, from their own statement to Bill Belichick’s Friday press conference and even countless social media posts and pictures posted by their star players.

Back on the league’s suspension list, Gordon could potentially be back for the 2019 season. But he would first have to show NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that he’s been clean for a prolonged stretch, per Rapoport.

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