AP NEWS

Patriots’ Josh Gordon Takes Leave of Absence for Mental-health Issue

December 20, 2018
FOXBORO, MA. - DECEMBER 2: Josh Gordon of the New England Patriots heads for the end zone defended by Anthony Harris of the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)

FOXBORO -- Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon is taking a leave of absence from the football field to address his mental health.

Gordon announced the decision this morning on social media.

“I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level,” Gordon wrote. “I have recently felt like I could have a better grasp on things mentally. With that said, I will be stepping away from the football field for a bit to focus on my mental health. I would like to thank Coach Belichick, Mr. Kraft, as well as countless others within the Patriots organization for their continued support. I want to thank my fans for their support as I will continue down the path of getting back to 100%.”

Gordon took a mental health leave in training camp with the Browns, as well.

It’s unclear if Gordon plans on returning this season. According to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, Gordon is facing another indefinite suspension for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy.

On the field, the news has major ramifications for the Patriots. Gordon had emerged as their best pass-catcher. He ranks second in the NFL in yards per reception (18.0). He was excellent after the catch, often turning 8-yard slant routes into 20-yard gains.

Without Gordon, receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett will be lifted into prominent roles.

Gordon was acquired in an early-season trade with the Browns. The Patriots parted with a fifth-round pick to bring him aboard. Gordon stepped in and immediately had success as New England’s top perimeter option.

The 27-year-old Gordon caught 40 passes for 720 yards with the Patriots.

An elite talent, Gordon has struggled with substance-abuse issues dating back to his college days at Baylor. He burst onto the scene in his second NFL season in 2013, torching defenses for 1,646 yards in 14 games while catching passes from Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer.

From 2014-17, Gordon appeared in only 10 games as he faced suspensions for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

AP RADIO
Update hourly