Josh Gordon has been suspended again by the NFL for a violation of the substance abuse policy and NFL insiders believe this one will end his football career.
The NFL announced late on Monday afternoon that Gordon was suspended indefinitely. While details of his latest ban were not yet available, it comes after the troubled wide receiver has faced a long string of suspensions related to drug abuse.
As NJ.com noted, the 28-year-old has been suspended five times for substance abuse-related issues, many due to failed drug tests. He has been public about his struggles with alcohol and cannabis and sought treatment outside of the NFL while battling his addictions.
The issues have kept Gordon off the field for significant stretches, missing the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons and much of 2017 while serving indefinite league suspensions. Gordon was traded to the New England Patriots last year after the NFL reinstated him, but the Patriots parted ways with him earlier in the season. He was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks.
As Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk noted, it appears this is now the end of the line for Gordon.
“Given the suspension and Gordon’s overall history, it wouldn’t be a great shock if it also turns out to be his final NFL game for any team,” he noted.
Once one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL, Gordon appeared to have slowed in the last two seasons. In his four games with the Seahawks, he had just four catches for 81 yards — most of that coming on a 58-yard reception in the team’s 30-24 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Seahawks WR Josh Gordon suspended indefinitely. pic.twitter.com/97GfKu966r— NFL (@NFL) December 16, 2019
As NJ.com noted, that appears likely to be Gordon’s last NFL catch.
There had been high hopes that he might find redemption with the Seahawks after his exit from New England. Quarterback Russell Wilson was one of the most vocal players in favor of bringing Gordon on board and said he saw it as a chance for the receiver to move beyond his controversial past.
“Josh has been special for us,” Wilson told Sports Illustrated. “I think that when he got here, that first week he was here, we got to spend some time together at the house and watch a bunch of film and just quality time together… He was doing all of his due diligence, taking notes like crazy, highlighting like crazy.”
“All those little things that matter to be a champion, I think that he definitely has. I think he’s got a great opportunity to retell his story.”
But others noted that there were signs Gordon was drifting into trouble before his exit from New England. Reports from his final months with the Patriots indicated that he was growing increasingly distant from teammates and failing to uphold team obligations.
Had discussed with @marcjames on @WEEI a few weeks back about Josh Gordon’s release in New England; was not for nothing. WR stopped responding to teammates calls, text messages, absent or late for meetings. Seems a similar pattern followed him to Seattle. Terribly sad situation.— Courtney Fallon (@CourtneyFallon_) December 16, 2019
The Patriots had instituted strict measures to keep watch over Gordon, reportedly instructing team security to keep a close eye on him. There were reports at the time he was released from the team that he was not complying with the team’s rules and that behavior issues may have played a role in their decision to part ways.