Josh Gordon, a receiver for the New England Patriots, stated on Thursday that he was taking a break from soccer.
“I take my mental health very seriously,” he stated in a press release. “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.”
In a quick assertion, the Patriots stated: “We support Josh Gordon in his continued efforts to focus on his health. His attempt to do so is a private and personal matter, which we intend to respect.”
The Patriots acquired Gordon in September from the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round draft decide. The deal was a shock to some due to Gordon’s checkered historical past.
Gordon was suspended for the primary two video games of the 2013 N.F.L. season due to substance abuse, then had a sensational season, main the league in receiving regardless of lacking the video games. But he missed 10 video games of the subsequent season due to substance abuse, then all of 2015 and 2016 and most of 2017. He missed among the Browns’ coaching camp this season for psychological well being therapy.
It adopted a sample for the Patriots, who’ve signed several other discarded receivers over the years for next to nothing. Randy Moss in 2007 worked out; Chad Johnson in 2011 did not.
As for Gordon, 27, he played in 11 games this season for the Patriots, picking up 40 catches for 720 yards and three touchdowns. That made him the team’s leading receiver, in terms of yardage and yards per catch, an impressive 18.0. He was part of a deep receiving corps that included Julian Edelman, the backup James White and tight end Rob Gronkowski.
But last Sunday, in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gordon was targeted just twice and had one catch for 19 yards. He declined to talk to reporters after the game. The Patriots are 9-5 and almost certainly headed for the playoffs, but the season has been a disappointing one by their high standards.
In the absence of Gordon, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson would figure to move up the depth chart.
Gordon spoke about his demons in a 2017 interview with GQ: “If I had already been drug tested that week, or the day before the game, I knew I had a couple days to buy to clean my system. Even before I was getting tested for alcohol, prior to my D.W.I. in 2014, I would take the biggest bong rip I could.”
He said his drug and alcohol use began because of “a lot of childhood and adolescent trauma-based fear” and said it began in middle school.
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