Russell Wilson was told the news following the Seahawks walkthrough on Thursday afternoon. Wilson, like the rest of us, learned that Josh Gordon was getting reinstated and would be eligible to play beginning in Week 16.
Gordon had been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the league’s policies against performance enhancing substances and substances of abuse.
“He’s an amazing receiver and a guy who was great last year for us, made some great plays,” Wilson said on Thursday. “He’s obviously been a great player over the years. More than anything else, this is a testament to his growth in life. You always want to see people overcome – overcome challenges and everything else.”
Gordon caught seven passes for 139 yards from Wilson in his five games with the Seahawks last season prior to being suspended. Every Seattle coach and player has done nothing but rave about Gordon in terms of his fit in the locker room and approach to the game.
Wilson said he has periodically checked on Gordon this season as a friend to ensure that he was doing well and hanging in despite his uncertain future.
“He was going through a lot in his life at the time, to be honest with you,” Wilson said of Gordon’s contributions last season. “Those are all personal things, but I think that he did a tremendous job of bonding with the guys and fitting in the right way. He was about the approach. He studied his playbook. He was ready to roll. He made great plays for us, too, at the same time.”
The wideout’s embattled career has featured a number of suspensions, of course, and this is likely his last shot in the NFL.
“I think he’ll make some key plays for us, and we’ll see how he does,” Wilson said. “I’m rooting for him to be able to overcome. Hopefully this time it’s better than the last time. That’s the reality that you pray for.”
Still just 29 years old, there’s no reason why Gordon can’t enjoy a long career as a professional football player and write a happy ending for his otherwise turbulent tenure in the NFL.