Gordon will be playing his first game with the Patriots since his suspension in December.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
September 06, 2019

New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon is ready to put his past issues with substance abuse behind him.

In a statement released via his Twitter account on Friday, Gordon acknowledged his history of substance abuse and said he does not intend on discussing those issues moving forward, using his first comments since returning from suspension to thank the Patriots for their support.

"Before the 2019 season starts, I would like to address an issue that arose toward the end of last season. It’s been well documented that I have battle substance abuse for some time. Unfortunately, I did not take the time to focus on a solution to that problem until this past year," Gordon wrote. "I am eternally grateful for the constant support from the NFL, NFLPA and the Patriots organization. I also want to thank my family, friends and all the fans who supported me while I addressed this issue.

"Going forward, I will not be discussing the details of my past," he added. "I plan to focus on the present and getting better every day. I hope people will judge me on what I do now and in the future. I look forward to being a member of the Patriots once against this season and doing my part by contributing on and off the field."

The former Browns receiver was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in December 2018 for multiple violations of the NFL's substance-abuse policy after being traded from Cleveland to New England in September. At the same time, Gordon had announced that he was "stepping away from football" to focus on his mental health. He had previously missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons due to suspension.

Gordon was reinstated on a "conditional basis" in August and has been allowed to rejoin the Patriots for meetings, conditioning work and individual workouts.

Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013. He caught 40 passes in 11 games for the Patriots in 2018. 

New England opens the season at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET.

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