Josh Gordon

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Josh Gordon News

He’s either stepping away voluntarily or he’s on the verge of being suspended indefinitely. 

December 20, 2018 - 9:20 am

Josh Gordon tweeted a statement this morning. A statement that read: “I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level. 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 to getting back to 100%.”

When that came down, it felt like a positive step. A pre-emptive and preventative measure that Gordon was taking to take care of his health and to prioritize his mental health above his career. 

Then NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero tweeted: “Patriots WR Josh Gordon is facing another indefinite suspension for violating terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy, per source. He announced today he’s stepping away to address his mental health.”

So that’s where we are at the moment. He’s either stepping away voluntarily or he’s on the verge of being suspended indefinitely. 

Either way, if your first reaction is to wonder what this means for the Patriots playoff chances or even worse, for your fantasy team or some money you laid down, check yourself. Because this isn’t about Josh Gordon the football player. This is about Josh Gordon the human.  

If your reaction to this news is that the Patriots have just lost two games in December and now they’ve lost their most dangerous receiver, JUST STOP. If your reaction is that the receiver most likely to get separation is now separated from the team, I’m not interested. 

The Patriots knew the risks when they brought him in. They took a chance that their system, their way could help him. They knew that it was possible, if not likely, that something like this might happen. And it did. BUT it was worth the risk, because when he’s healthy, mentally and physically, he is special.

Don’t take my word for it, Jarvis Landry said Gordon’s “unstoppable” on this show back in July.

That’s coming from one of the most unstoppable receivers in the NFL. A guy who has been breaking records virtually since he entered the league and he’s looking at Josh Gordon and saying, that guy is unstoppable. That’s how good Josh Gordon was and how good he could be.

And that’s probably all in the past tense right now. Because if he did in fact violate the terms of his reinstatement, which sounds like it could mean that he tested positive for something, it’s hard to see a way back to the NFL for him. Not after all the time he’s missed for previous positive tests. 

I don’t know what Gordon is dealing with that would require him to step away or violate the terms of his reinstatement. I don’t know what he might have tested positive for, if that did happen. 

I’m not going to make any assumptions about what it was. He told GQ about how he would self-medicate with “Xanax, with marijuana, codeine—to help numb those nerves so you can just function every day. That became the norm from middle school to high school. So by the time I got into my 20s, I was on an accelerated pace.”

So if you want to come in here and make pot jokes, keep on moving. I’m not interested. First of all, TREE humor is tired and played out. If you still CRACK UP when the clock goes from 4:19 to 4:20, it’s time to move on. 

Society’s relationship to marijuana has changed dramatically over the years. It is more and more accepted. Laws are changing, rules are being relaxed, you can buy it or derivatives of it, in just about any form you’d like, in a store down the street from many of you, and yet at the same time, hundreds of thousands of individuals have spent time in prison for having small amounts of it. 

If Gordon has tested positive for marijuana, it’s serious. It’s not something we’re going to laugh about with jokes about Fritos, Funyuns, and the munchies. Those jokes stopped being funny around the five thousandth time someone made them.  

Because by all accounts, Gordon has put in the work on trying to address this. Whether you want to classify this as a mental health issue or an addiction issue or both, it is a serious issue and it’s one that he’s put in the time on. And it’s still an issue.

So I severely doubt the idea that some of you have that Josh Gordon loves drugs more than he loves football. The equation isn’t that simple when you’re dealing with chemicals, your brain, and your emotions. How many of you deal with mental health and addiction issues? I’m guessing a lot more than you let on. 

So the first question here is about Josh Gordon the person and the issues he’s facing and battling. 

And the second question being whether or not the league’s rules need to change. Don’t get me wrong. If it’s against the league rules, Josh Gordon should not be doing it. 

He knows the rules. He knows them very well and if he violated those rules and tested positive for a banned substance, that’s on him. Not on the league. 

But there is a larger question of how society’s relationship to marijuana has changed over the years, but the league’s public relationship to marijuana has not changed much at all. Again, we don’t know what he reportedly tested positive for and it would be reckless to speculate, but we’d all agree that if it was marijuana that feels very different than if it was a harder drug or a drug designed to enhance performance. And maybe that’s something the league needs to look into.  

Yeah, there’s a good chance that this is the end of a career that could’ve been so good, but hopefully, it is the start of a life that could be so good. Because as good as Josh Gordon was in football, it seems like Josh Gordon and football were not a great mix. Maybe Josh Gordon without football will be able to get healthy and live the life that he’d like to live.