Josh Gordon was a major contributor to the Patriots this season, but the troubled wide receiver will be watching the Patriots compete in Super Bowl LIII from afar.
Gordon's indefinite suspension for multiple drug policy violations is a sad storyline for the 2018 Patriots. One that especially saddens both Robert and Jonathan Kraft. On Tuesday, the Krafts joined the Boston Sports Tonight crew and explained what Gordon meant to the team, and how unfortunate the whole situation is.
"He was a real good guy, and there was a connection," Robert Kraft said on BST. "Unfortunately, people like that need mentoring at a young age, but when it becomes addiction, addiction is something that is way beyond our... We gave him tremendous support on a daily basis, and he was worthy. But I think we as a society have to try to help these young people not to get addicted in the first place. And that's the sad part of this. He's a good guy -- a really good guy. It makes us sad."
Jonathan Kraft explained that Gordon was as hard of a worker as any in the locker room, it was simply his demons that came back to haunt him.
"This wasn't a troublemaker in the locker room," he said. "That football locker room, especially in our place, you have to be somebody that's smart, that's committed to week-in and week-out understanding what's going to be asked of you mentally as well as being willing to work physically and then being selfless. And that doesn't describe everybody on every football team, and our team took to Josh very quickly because he had those attributes, and unfortunately he had some personal demons... As a person and as a teammate, he was beloved in the locker room. And I'm sure if you ask guys this week, they would tell you they wish he was here with us. He was not a guy that was disruptive or a problem."
"He didn't grow up with any support system," Jonathan Kraft continued. "He saw other people doing it, and it gets back to the way we grew up -- and that doesn't mean that people don't get addicted from all walks of life -- but you get exposed to it in a whole different way when you come from where Josh Gordon came from. He is a very good kid."
The Patriots are paying for Gordon's treatment, and a return from New England isn't ruled out if all goes well in his recovery.
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