With the preseason in full swing and 2019 NFL regular season just weeks away, the New England Patriots received some positive news from the league office regarding the status of wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon was indefinitely banned from the league last December after violating the terms of his previous conditional reinstatement under the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
However, Gordon has been granted yet another chance by the league. According to a release from the NFL, Gordon will once again be reinstated by the NFL, clearing the way for him to play with the Pats next season.
Commissioner ROGER GOODELL notified JOSH GORDON of the New England Patriots that he will be reinstated to the NFL on a conditional basis.
Effective Sunday, Gordon may rejoin the Patriots to attend meetings and engage in conditioning work and individual workouts.
Subject to appropriate progress on clinical care and other arrangements, he will be permitted to participate in team activities including practice.
“We are all rooting for Josh to succeed, both personally and professionally,” Commissioner Goodell said in a 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.”
The release also specified that while Josh Gordon can rejoin the Patriots within the coming days, he won’t be permitted to play in the team’s upcoming third preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday. Gordon’s first chance to suit up again for in-game action comes in Week 4 of the preseason against the New York Giants.
Another reinstatement for Gordon is just the latest in what has been a long road of substance abuse and league suspensions for the immensely talented wideout. Just prior to his latest suspension late last year, Gordon promised to step away from the game and take better care of his mental health. Now, we’ll get the opportunity to see how his health and mental state hold up over the course of a full season in New England.
This is a major boost for a Patriots receiver corps that was looking thinner than ever after Rob Gronkowski’s retirement in the offseason. While Julian Edelman figures to be the primary target and rookie N’Keal Harry is also expected to be involved to some extent, Gordon should still have a sizable role in one of the league’s best offenses right away.