New England Patriots

Josh Gordon of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Josh Gordon of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

One by one, the New England Patriots have filed into Foxboro in preparation for the start of training camp on Thursday.

But wide receiver Josh Gordon, who stepped away from the Patriots to focus on his health and was formally suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Dec. 20, has seemingly remained out of sight and out of mind for the Patriots.

And Patriots coach Bill Belichick had little to offer when asked about Gordon on Wednesday.

“That’ll be a league matter,” Belichick said of Gordon’s status. “You should talk to them about it.”

That answer should surprise absolutely no one. That’s just typical Belichick Speak, really. (And the day before on-field activities begin, no less!) But it’s worth mentioning that the NFL has made a habit of letting teams know the status of players facing suspension prior to the official start of training camp of late, with the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill and Seattle’s Jarran Reed sticking out as the two most recent examples of this. Roger Goodell and the NFL did this with Julian Edelman and his four-game ban for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drugs violation last season, too, so there’s a definite set precedent here.

At the same time, though, Gordon was hit with an indefinite suspension, meaning that there does not have to be a timetable of any sort on his return. Especially with this being his fifth suspension, and fourth for a substance violation. Shortly after the suspension, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported that Gordon could be back for the 2019 season, but that he would first have to show Goodell that he’s been clean for an extended period of time.

Gordon, meanwhile, has been relatively quiet on social media, without a post on his official Instagram account since April. Gordon was, however, featured on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s Instagram last month, with the duo working out together.

Given their offseason losses, Edelman’s thumb injury (and age) — and the seemingly-desperate nature of their wide receiver depth chart, both in talent and in terms of legitimate experience with Brady — there should be no doubt that the Patriots would welcome Gordon back with open arms if and when he is reinstated by the league.

But if and when that happens, though, remains something not even Belichick has an answer to right now.

Gordon totaled 720 yards on 40 catches, including three touchdowns, in 11 games for the Patriots last season.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.