New England Patriots wideout Josh Gordon is receiving treatment at an inpatient facility in Florida, according to an NESN report Monday, but his tenure with the team isn’t necessarily over.
Per the report, the Patriots are paying for Gordon’s treatment at a facility in Gainesville, and it’s possible he returns to the team at some point. The report adds that Gordon’s indefinite suspension — which came in December, prompting Gordon to step away and seek treatment — was triggered by diluted drug test samples.
Gordon, 27, caught 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games with the Patriots after arriving via trade from the Cleveland Browns in September. The Patriots sent the Browns a fifth-round pick and received a conditional seventh-rounder in return. Gordon was suspended Dec. 20.
If he does return to the team, it would likely take awhile, as indefinite drug suspensions handed down by the league usually last at least one year. Gordon missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons and much of 2017 under such suspensions, and he has been banned a total of 58 games in his career, all for drug violations.
Before the latest suspension, Gordon was set to become a restricted free agent. Because he accrued a season of play in 2018 before the suspension, that should still happen, but it’s unclear exactly how the suspension will impact his contract status.
Previous suspensions prevented Gordon from accruing the time necessary to reach free agency after his fourth season, which is the typical timeline for non-first-round draft picks. Gordon was drafted in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft.
If the Patriots win Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, Gordon will receive a ring.