PHOENIX – While the Patriots cast about for wide receiver help in advance of the 2019 season, it’s become easy to overlook the fact that Josh Gordon remains on the team.
And that can be excused because he’s on the reserve/suspended list since his December bouncing for violations of the substance abuse policy.
Nobody knows for sure when or if Gordon will play in the NFL again so counting him as part of the 2019 Patriots would be premature.
I asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday what the timetable might be for Gordon’s case to be reviewed.
"The first thing right now is to focus on Josh himself as a young man and what he needs to do to get his life on the right track,” said Goodell. “That's what our focus is. We have resources, we're supporting that, and that's our hope -- to make sure he gets on the right track.
“Once he gets on the right track, we'll get to that place,” he added. “I think right now, he's had a complete focus on 'I've gotta get myself off the field, in the right place before I can get back on the field.' “
Since his suspension, Gordon has remained in the Patriots loop at least on social media. The details of how the NFL will review his case and when are murky at this point though.
Asked how the NFL will go about measuring Gordon’s progress, Goodell said, "Some of that, as you can well imagine, from a privacy standpoint is between patient and those who are working with him, so we don't have access to all of that information. But we will get updates from our experts at some point of where he is in the process of rehabilitation and making sure he's in a better position."
Gordon’s current suspension is “indefinite.” Whether there would be an additional defined term issued (example, an eight-game suspension on top of the five games he missed at the end of the Patriots 2018 season) is not known.
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