Josh Gordon leaves Patriots: Career in jeopardy over drug ban, ‘mental health’ issues

Josh Gordon has revitalized his career with the Patriots this season, but now he may never play again.

The receiver announced on Twitter on Thursday morning he is stepping away from the Patriots to deal with mental health issues, and shortly afterward the NFL announced he was suspended indefinitely for violating the drug agreement. Gordon is again on the reserve/commissioner suspended list.

“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 of things mentally. With that said, I will be stepping away from the football field for a bit to focus on my mental health.”

Gordon has previously cited anxiety issues while being in and out of the NFL due to various drug suspensions.

The timing is difficult for the Patriots as Gordon, 27, has become a consistent contributor on their offense since being acquired from the Browns. In 11 games, Gordon has 40 catches for 720 yards and three touchdowns.

“We support Josh Gordon in his continued effort 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.”

The Patriots’ offense has come under fire recently with Chris Hogan being a non-factor this season and Rob Gronkowski nowhere near the dominant tight end he has been for years. Gordon’s departure likely will mean a larger role for Cordarrelle Patterson as the 9-5 Patriots try to win out and regain the first-round bye they lost with Sunday’s defeat to the Steelers.

“I would like to thank Coach [Bill] Belichick, Mr. [Robert] Kraft, as well as countless others within the Patriots organization for their continued support,” Gordon wrote. “I want to thank my fans for their support as well as I continue down the path getting back to 100%.”

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