FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon said in a statement Friday that he didn’t focus on a solution to his substance abuse addiction until this year, and asked to be judged on “what I do now and in the future.”
Gordon, who was reinstated from an indefinite suspension by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Aug. 16, has yet to address reporters since his return to the Patriots. His statement, posted on social media, comes two days before the team hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season opener, with Gordon expected to answer questions from media members for the first time after the game.
— Flash Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII) September 6, 2019
Since Gordon’s return, many in the Patriots organization have discussed how they wanted to support him as a football player and person.
On Friday morning, when asked how excited he was for Gordon, coach Bill Belichick said, “Josh has worked hard. He’s created an opportunity for himself.”
“Having Josh back is unbelievable,” fellow receiver Julian Edelman added.
Gordon has been suspended several times by the NFL for violations of its drug policies since being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2012. He missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons.
After being reinstated in 2017, Gordon revealed in an interview with GQ magazine that he drank or used marijuana before games. “Probably every game of my career,” he said.
Gordon also said in a 2017 mini-documentary on Uninterrupted.com that he took Xanax, cocaine, marijuana and other narcotics.