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Patriots reportedly had an idea something was coming with Josh Gordon

Ryan Hannable
December 20, 2018 - 1:37 pm

After Josh Gordon posted to Twitter Thursday morning about stepping away from football to focus on his mental health, and then it was reported he's facing an indefinite suspension for violating terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy, the next question was did the Patriots know about this ahead of time?

Appearing on Dale & Keefe with Rich Keefe and Steve DeOssie, NFL Media's Tom Pelissero said the team was aware something potentially could be happening with their wide receiver.

“My understanding is they have been aware of something could potentially be coming down, but there are different privacy constraints under the substance abuse policy where clubs are not clued in as early," he said. "It is really only Gordon, his representatives, although he recently fired another agent, so it is not entirely clear who is working with Josh Gordon. That is another layer to this — the different support systems that he has had. He tried to go down to Florida to receive treatment. He has kind been all over the place.

"The Patriots have certainly tried to provide that support system and you see some of the stuff Bill Belichick and Tom Brady spoken about with how attentive Josh Gordon has been, how quickly he picks up the offense. This is an intelligent person who simply has some personal demons that have once again risen to the surface here and it is going to take him off the field for the foreseeable future.”

It is worth noting Gordon did not speak to the media after the loss in Pittsburgh and appeared visibly frustrated in the locker room.

So, what exactly did Gordon violate? Pelissero said it could have been a number of different things.

“It could be multiple different things and I am not entire clear on that at this point," he said. "It could be a combination of different things. Again, you go back through things that happened in Cleveland in training camp this year. Those would be things that would raise red flags to be evaluated by the medical director. We don’t know exactly what may have happened here that triggered this. But again, he has certain conditions that he has to meet under the conditional reinstatement. Those are not set out by Commissioner Roger Goodell, those are set out by the medical director who is jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA to manage players who are in that program to try and help them get well. We know that Josh Gordon’s reliance on substances goes a long way back. He’s detailed that in media stories before. It is something he’s battled throughout his life and certainly the mental health aspect of it that he’s spoken about before is a component here.”

As of now, Gordon is still officially on the Patriots roster.

Related: Cordarrelle Patterson, Josh Gordon missing from start of Patriots practice Thursday