The New England Patriots got some good news late last week when the NFL elected to conditionally reinstate wide receiver Josh Gordon.
Gordon, who played in 10 games with the Patriots last season, had been suspended indefinitely for another violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy since the end of the 2018 regular season. But Roger Goodell elected to reinstate him and give him an opportunity to play again.
However, it's still unclear what the Patriots' plans for Gordon are going to be. While Gordon should seemingly upgrade the team's receiving corps, the team is trying to manage his expectations at the moment. And in the short term, ESPN's Field Yates is reporting that Gordon will be placed on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list upon his return to the club.
Patriots WR Josh Gordon, upon his conditional reinstatement, has been placed on the non-football injury list.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 18, 2019
This may just be a procedural move for the Patriots as they try to determine the shape that Gordon is in and how they can fit him on their roster. It appears that they may be making a roster spot for him by releasing Dontrelle Inman, but stashing him on the NFI list will give them time to evaluate his situation.
We'll see how long Gordon is on the NFI list, but it could be a short stay. This move just gives the team options as they look to reconfigure their wide receiver depth chart with a true No. 1 option in tow.
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