Josh Gordon reportedly evaded the Patriots’ security during the team’s bye week, eluding the team in place to ensure he did not violate the terms of his reinstatement.
The report comes after Gordon’s latest suspension this week for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. The 27-year-old receiver had a number of violations and missed the majority of his career to suspension, and his latest one is likely to bring an end to his NFL career. As NBC Sports Boston reported, the Patriots tried in vain to make sure he stayed on the right path.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter also reported Sunday morning, the Patriots assigned people to be with Josh Gordon at all times to make sure he avoided temptation. But Josh Gordon reportedly slipped the team’s security during the November 18 bye week.
The incident came after Josh Gordon had his best game with the Patriots to that point, catching four passes for 81 yards.
Gordon continued to play for the Patriots after the alleged incident, catching 14 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown. For the season, Gordon had 40 catches for 720 yards and three touchdowns.
The New England Patriots still defended the decision to trade for Josh Gordon, with an unnamed member of the organization told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports that the team would continue to support him.
“He is not a bad kid at all. We enjoyed working with him. I just feel awful for him,” the source said. “This is a really sad time for Josh, and for us. And it’s not about football. You always have to deal with injuries and different personnel each week. That’s what all teams do.”
The source said that the team’s focus is still on offering Josh Gordon the help he needs, knowing at the time they traded for him that the talented wide receiver had long battled addiction.
But the team has also faced criticism for its decision to trade for Gordon and to offer him another chance when he had failed to make the most of the multiple chances offered by the Cleveland Browns. The Browns employed a similar strategy at times, keeping a close eye on Gordon but failing to keep him out of trouble.
Report: Josh Gordon eluded Patriots’ elaborate security measures https://t.co/EYnIeiMKE9— S J C (@ltjordan24) December 24, 2018
Though Josh Gordon now faces an uncertain future, NFL insider Ian Rapoport said that it is possible Gordon could be reinstated by the start of next season. Whether there is a team that would give him yet another chance remains to be seen, however.