Patriots’ Josh Gordon Banned Indefinitely

Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended indefinitely for violating terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy, as first reported by Tom Pelissero of (on Twitter). On Thursday afternoon, the NFL made it official via press release.

The impending ban explains why Gordon took to Twitter on Thursday morning to announce that he’s stepping away from the game to address his mental health. 

I take my mental health very seriously. At this point, to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level, [I am taking time away from football],” Gordon wrote on social media. “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 well as I continue down the path getting back to 100%

Gordon remained in Stage 3 of the substance abuse policy even after reinstatement, so this is a truly indefinite ban with no one-year minimum, as is often the case with other lengthy suspensions. There is no timeline for Gordon’s return and no guarantee that he’ll be cleared to play for the 2020 season.

The Patriots knew the risk associated with the ultra-talented Gordon when they acquired him from the Browns in September. The rest of the league knew the risks involved as well, which is why the Pats were able to land the former All-Pro for a fifth-round pick, with a seventh-round choice coming back. Gordon’s season with the Patriots – which may prove to be his last – ends with 40 catches, 720 yards, and three touchdowns across eleven games.

The Patriots are just two weeks away from the playoffs and are working to clinch a first-round bye. Losing Gordon stings, but they still have plenty of pass-catching weapons including Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, and James White. Gordon, and the every-down threat he provides, will be missed, but it’s hardly a death sentence for one of the league’s strongest teams.

We support Josh Gordon in his continued efforts to focus on his health,” the Patriots said in a statement. “His attempt to do so is a private and personal matter, which we intend to respect.”

Gordon has a long history substance abuse issues and has been suspended multiple times by the league office. His last ban, also of the indefinite variety, was lifted under the condition that he would stay sober. It’ll be a long road back for Gordon should he try to play in the NFL again.

Gordon was hit with a ten-game suspension in 2014 and missed all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to substance-abuse trouble. After that, he did not suit up for the Browns again until December 2017 when he was reinstated. Gordon also missed Browns training camp this past year, reportedly checking himself into a rehab facility in fear of another substance-abuse relapse. He has also admitted to playing under the influence since high school, so his issues with drugs go back at least a decade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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89 comments on “Patriots’ Josh Gordon Banned Indefinitely

    • Ironman_4life

      Since he failed a drug test I would say that it’s kind of like quitting before you get fired

      • captainsalty

        Yeah…either way he’s screwed himself…if he failed another test or is just quitting, he can’t be relied on by his coaches or teammates

        • Stepping back to take care of one’s own health is different from quitting. He’s obviously stepping back because he failed another test, but he’s not really quitting on his teammates. Vontae Davis retiring at halftime is quitting on your team. If Gordon didn’t fail the test and still said he needed to take a step back, I think most of his coaches and teammates would understand. He wouldn’t be able to help them if he wasn’t in the right place mentally/physically.

          • jkoms57

            He quit on his teammates when he decides non-addictive marijuana was a better choice than playing pro football for a living.

    • Polish Hammer

      He’s taking his ball and running. But, the Pats knew he was going to be tossed before he even played last week and the Brown last knew he relapsed the day they cut him back in week 2 when he showed up for the Saints game impaired. Shame to see such talent wasted.

  1. Kwflanne

    Come on everyone…. stop with the negative comments…. he deserves a second chance. Or a third chance. Or fourth. Or are we on the fifth now?

    What…. an….. idiot.

  2. He wasn’t part of Tom Brady’s dink n dunk offense – Gordon doesn’t know how to run a 3-yard out pattern so he said peace out.

      • I watch Tom Brady’s aerial attack dumping it off to White & Burkhead all the time. I’m watching games from Twin Peaks (great food and service btw) and I’m literally predicting every dink n dunk play call. I’ve never been a defensive coordinator in my life.

        • KYRedSox17

          The only Twin Peaks that matters is Twin Peaks, WA. Damn good coffee and great Cherry Pie.

    • Polish Hammer

      Taking the beating those receivers get with the dinking and dunking is enough to require substances to ease the pain.

  3. Julio Franco's Birth Certificate

    Sad. He seemed like a decent guy that just was always battling addictions he couldn’t beat. He never was nailed for violence or anything bad, just really bad life choices. Hopefully he finds something rewarding to do outside of football.

    He actually was a car salesman in Cleveland while suspended and the dealership said he was one of their best employees – maybe he can use his name recognition to do that?

    • Steven Juris

      I heard MCDONALDS needs somebody to clean their toilets out. Perfect job for him.

      • Julio Franco's Birth Certificate

        Ehh, that’s too harsh. If you want to say that about Kareem Hunt, I’m with you. Substance abuse is a lot more forgivable in my mind than domestic violence. I don’t think that makes Gordon a bad guy at all, just one with problems.

        Though I think Josh has had way too many chances already – this career is over for him.

        • Let’s not get carried away.

          The Kareem Hunt incident was a late night dustup with a party girl trying to push her way back into his hotel room for free drugs and booze. It’s not domestic violence as it’s not a domestic incident, Hunt might not even know her. The Kareem Hunt kerfuffle was a big deal in Kansas City maybe – it wouldn’t be in 9 out of 10 cities with NFL teams.

          Convicted robbery, battery, extortion, attempted murder, domestic violence – those should be suspended. Rumours or recreational marijuana use are really not the NFL’s concern.

          I’m disgusted with the hypocrisy of it all. I’m sure there’s more than a handful of owners or their direct heirs busy sniffing cocaine in the owners’ boxes every weekend.

          • Steven Juris

            Kareem Hunt has 3 other allegations of violence caused by him. He has no business belonging in sports at all. Except for Boxing.

          • Dodgethis

            It’s more about a level playing field and appearing honorable in competition. Doesn’t really matter what the people cutting the checks do. Also, victimless crimes shouldn’t be eligible for ban. The behavior control is getting out of hand. Life should be interesting.

          • Steven Juris

            Marijuana use is against the NFL bylaws. Where her it should be is a different story. The players know the rules since they signed the contract and agreed with it. Hitting and kicking anybody is illegal in every state. Lying to the league and team should be an automatic release. Hunts free to play wherever he wants. Hotels have security for that reason. He is an idiot with an extremely bad temper.

        • Ironman_4life

          Kareem hunt has nothing to do with DV. Hitting a woman that is not your girlfriend or spouse is not domestic violence. Yes he hit a woman which is why he’s not playing. But it’s not domestic violence

  4. Clark K

    This is a league that takes weed more seriously than domestic violence. Hopefully Gordon does improve his mental health.

    • Polish Hammer

      You don’t know it was weed. And if it was, these morons don’t have the mental capacity to realize they can smoke for the rest of their lives, just keep it clean while gainfully employed. My employer would give me one shot and done, no 5 chances and we’ll feel sorry for you.

      • tharrie0820

        To be fair, you’re also probably nowhere near as talented as Gordon is, and in a job where it’s much much easier to find replacements

        • Polish Hammer

          I’m as talented at my vocation as he is at his. My employer doesn’t play games and has a zero tolerance policy on drugs.

  5. Greg M

    This “mental illness” stuff is garbage as it pertains to Josh Gordon’s drug problem. The guy has a maturity problem and tries to hide behind a medical condition. Grow up and act like an adult.

      • Greg M

        This will continue to be used as a crutch as long as their are people like yourself so willing to accept this excuse. Josh Gordon has refused to grow up and take responsibility for his own actions and it would be great if other adults would at least hold him accountable.

          • AndyMeyer

            And furthermore Greg M, do you know of anyone or deal with a family member who struggles with addiction? Do you know anything about relapse?
            Its so much more than what your pathetic comment suggests. And I suggest you keep it to yourself, or better yet, study and talk to people who struggle with addiction and mental illness

  6. Thronson5

    He’s played his last down of football I believe. It’s really sad, not even because of the talent he has but for him personally, he really does struggle sobriety and I’ve been in his shoes. It takes a lot to get over it, constantly battle. Hopefully one day he will be able to as well.

  7. acarneglia

    Wonder if the Pats sign someone like Brandon Marshall just got additional depth

  8. JJB0811

    Pats were fools to bring him in. Not for the draft pick, but you know he was getting stoned with other players on the team. Could have hurt the team by getting others suspended as well.

    • Polish Hammer

      Cleveland stood by him for years and saw him go to rehab at least 5 times. He was suspended for 56 of a possible 97 games in his Browns career. He thanked them by showing up under the influence until they finally cut their losses. What a waste of talent.

  9. HarveyD82

    wasted talent. just go away already. sick of this guy. all the talent, all that money and he pisses it all away. no sympathy for fools.

  10. SandiSox9

    It’s a shame pot can have such dire consequences in professional sports. Dude couldn’t lay off the doobie!! Me neither!!

    • snotrocket

      I’m high right now but I could stop smoking in a heartbeat if I had a lucrative job opportunity. If you can’t stop smoking weed you have zero will power.

    • sufferfortribe

      I believe that he also has a problem with alcohol. I could be wrong, though. Went through this so many times as a Browns fan that I lost track of all he’s been suspended for.

      • Steezy

        Yeah he would like drive home after warm ups, drink, and come back for game time

  11. soxscelticspats

    He gets what he Deserves. With the money he makes he can’t keep his nose clean. Dumbass

  12. of9376

    This guy infuriates me. Guy has the ability and talent to make millions of dollars annually but can’t lay off the crap. How hard is it to not be a complete F-up?

    • AndyMeyer

      It’s called addiction genius. Not easy. No matter how many chances you are given. You can go to all the rehabs and see the greatest specialists in the world. If you don’t want to stop, you can’t. And that’s the unfortunate situation. The addiction is too much

  13. MauiDan

    The guy smokes weed and he has a substance abuse problem? Only because of the NFL’s archaic CBA and bylaws, which, by the way, also allow teams to use players until they’re hurt and then just spit them out like pieces of gum. Gordon doesn’t have a problem at all, he just smokes weed. It’s a shame he has to do this absurd tap dance to play the dangerous game of football, and it’s too bad so many ignoramuses have a say regarding it.

    • Polish Hammer

      Yeah “Gordon doesn’t have a problem at all”…really? SMH

      Blame the laws and rules, not the dumbass with the world by the sack that can’t keep his nose clean at many chances.

    • cuban1

      As long as its banned, and he is losing millions upon millions of dollars because he cant fight the urge to smoke a little weed, then yes, he has a substance abuse problem. How about he wait 10 years, then he’d have all the money and time in the world to smoke and drink as much as his heart desires.

  14. sufferfortribe

    Indefinite ban? After all the chances he’s had, this one should be permanent.

    • Steezy

      Indefinate isn’t long enough for you? Only 2 people ever have received a lifetime ban, and that was for fixing the 1946 Super Bowl. With the length of ban he’ll get, there’s no way he plays again, and no benefit to ostracisizing him from the league entirely. He’s only hurt himself, he’s not out there kicking & dragging women around or murdering people (none of which has resulted in a lifetime ban before anyways). Go rip on someone else.

      • sufferfortribe

        Who’s doing the ripping right now? I just said he’s had enough chances, and you get your panties in a bunch. Take a breath… exhale.

        • Steezy

          Dude I just said to go rip on someone who deserves it lol. Don’t make dumb comments if you don’t want people to disagree with you.

            • Steezy

              Because you told me to take a deep breath? Hahahahahahaha good one bro!!! Going to therapy rn boo hoo

              • sufferfortribe

                Wow, what are you, like 12? Grow up. If you didn’t like my comment, you didn’t need to respond in the first place. Try it some time. Or, when it involves me, try it every time.

  15. bradthebluefish

    Kinda hope it’s an indefinite ban so we can all move on from Josh Gordon once and for all.

  16. frankthetank1985

    I think we should all take a knee to reflect on the injustices he has faced. What a shame. Such a stand up man who got trapped in the system. What a shame….. idiot.

  17. zacbinks

    Why is it okay to take oxycodone for pain which has serious side affects but not okay to smoke marijuana for pain? Don’t play the game while intoxicated and you should be fine. Honestly this is just evil. Even the MLB has WAY less restrictions on marijuana usage. These dudes are crushing their bodies into each other over and over for sport. Let them smoke marijuana for the pain. So long as they get tested before games to ensure they aren’t high, what is the issue?

    • frankthetank1985

      Doesn’t matter. Until the rules are changed u must obey. Most of the rest of the league seems to manage

    • PeterDipersio

      Lol! That is like you going into work at a machine shop and operating the cutting machine under the influence of drugs! Do you think that would be a wise decision? And if you hurt yourself, the company could be liable!

  18. PeterDipersio

    Why do idiots that have it made doing something they love and getting paid millions to do it screw it all up!

  19. dcahen

    No one is saying anything about the fact that once again, the arrogant NE Patriots have stuck their neck out too far & now look like a pathetically run organization. I vividly remember their idiot owner’s comment upon Aaron Hernandez’s arrest for murder after Kraft gave him a $60 million contract, “I feel duped by this; I really thought the Patriot Way would change Aaron.” Still clueless Robert, still think Belichick can transform thugs & dopers into model citizens? Classless organization strikes again.

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