By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The NFL has officially reinstated Josh Gordon after the wide receiver had served an indefinite suspension since Dec. 20. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the news on Friday, and the NFL released a statement soon afterward.
Gordon will be reinstated on a conditional basis, per the league’s statement. He is allowed to report to Gillette Stadium as soon as Sunday, but can’t play in next Thursday’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. He will be able to participate in team activities “subject to appropriate progress on clinical care and other arrangements.”
“We are all rooting for Josh to succeed, both personally and professionally,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as part of the statement. “Everyone shares in that hope and will continue to support him to every extent possible. But as Josh acknowledged, ultimately his success is up to him.”
Here’s the full statement from the NFL, via Ian Rapoport on Twitter:
Gordon came to the Patriots via trade with the Browns last September. He caught 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games before the suspension. Gordon applied for reinstatement earlier in August.
The Patriots placed an original-round tender on Gordon for $2.025 million (non-guaranteed) in March. He will now play under that number if he ends up making the 53-man roster.
Gordon’s return comes at a time when injuries have ravaged the Patriots at wide receiver. Julian Edelman, Demaryius Thomas, and Cameron Meredith continue to work their way back from the NFI/PUP lists. Phillip Dorsett, Maurice Harris, and rookie N’Keal Harry have been absent or limited in recent practices and are all unlikely to play in Saturday’s preseason tilt against the Titans.
Among healthy wide receivers, Gordon will compete for a roster spot with Jakobi Meyers, Braxton Berrios, Dontrelle Inman, Gunner Olszewski, Damoun Patterson, and Ryan Davis. As long as he meets the conditions of his reinstatement and stays healthy, Gordon’s experience in the offense and still-high ceiling give him a good chance to make the team.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.