Roger Goodell says he'd consider reinstating Josh Gordon after latest rehab stint

Alex Reimer
January 30, 2019 - 1:52 pm

Roger Goodell has already reinstated Josh Gordon once from an indefinite suspension due to substance abuse. The commissioner suggested Wednesday he’s open to possibly doing it again, but Gordon has lots of work to do first. 

The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin asked Goodell about Gordon at his annual Super Bowl press conference, leading Goodell to talk about the importance of Gordon curtailing his addiction and mental health issues.

“Directly, I have not spoken to (Gordon) since his last suspension,” Goodell said. “He’s a young man who’s had a lot of challenges. I have gotten to know him. I understand the struggles and challenges he’s had to go through. He is working at it. He understands what he has to do. He understands the importance for him. And this is well beyond football. This is for his life –– to make sure he takes care of himself and understands the importance of getting this issue under control and being able to live a healthy and long life. If he can, we’ll evaluate that at the right time. But right now, the focus is on what we can do to help Josh get to that place.”

The NFL suspended Gordon Dec. 20 for violating the league's substance abuse policy.  He is in Stage-3 of the substance abuse program, meaning he is subject to random drug testing. Before the news of his suspension broke, Gordon announced he was stepping away from the Patriots to work on his mental health. The wideout played 11 games with New England this season, catching 40 passes and three touchdowns.

The Patriots are paying for Gordon’s rehab in Florida, according to NESN’s Doug Kyed. Robert Kraft expressed his sympathy this week, saying Gordon’s struggles make the organization “sad.”

Unlike recent years, Patriots-centric storylines didn’t dominate Goodell’s state of the league address. He fielded a myriad of questions about the blown pass interference call in the NFC championship, repeating that officials are humans and the league will consider opening up replay to include judgment calls. 

Towards the end of the presser, Goodell was asked about Kraft's 25 years of ownership with the Patriots, and predictably, shared lots of kind words. "He’s built a world-class organization that's had unparalleled success over the last 25 years," Goodell said. "That’s a tribute to the Kraft family." 

Related: Robert Kraft comments on Josh Gordon