New England Patriots

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 23: Josh Gordon #10 of the New England Patriots warms up on field prior to the start of the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots game at Ford Field on September 23, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Patriots wideout Josh Gordon, suspended indefinitely by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Dec. 20, may have been reinstated on a conditional basis, but the Patriots aren’t exactly celebrating his impending return just yet.

At least based upon the statement released by Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Saturday.

“For the past eight months, Josh’s situation has been entirely a league matter,” Belichick’s statement read. “When Josh returns to our program, we will evaluate the entire situation and do what we feel is best for Josh and the team.”

This isn’t exactly a screaming, balloons-and-streamers welcome back of sorts from the New England coach. Not that you should necessarily expect that from Belichick, even with the Patriot coach giving Gordon his full support just eight months ago. If anything, this is Belichick essentially doing what he can to remind everybody that Gordon is not a lock to make the team simply because of his 2018 success with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The 28-year-old Gordon is allowed to report to team facilities as early as Sunday, but will not be eligible to play in preseason action until the team’s fourth and final game of the preseason, Aug. 29 against the Giants.

Gordon caught 40 balls for 720 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games with the Patriots last season.