New England Patriots’ wide receiver Josh Gordon said in a statement Thursday via Twitter that he was stepping away from football to focus on his mental health.
“I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level. I have recently felt like I could have a better grasp on things mentally. With that said, I will be stepping away from the football field for a bit to focus on my mental health.”
He continued on thanking coach Bill Belichick, team owner Robert Kraft, the Patriots organization and the fans.
Before the 2018 season, Gordon was a member of the Cleveland Browns, training privately from the team so he could focus on his well-being. Shortly after rejoining the Browns he suffered an injury during a promotional video shoot in September and the team quickly traded him to New England.
In his 11 games with the Patriots he has forty receptions and three touchdowns.
After his announcement The Patriots in a statement said, “We support Josh Gordon in his continued efforts to focus on his health. His attempt to do so is a private and personal matter, which we intend to respect.”
Shortly after the news broke NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reported Gordon violated the league’s substance abuse policy and now faces a suspension. Although it is unclear if Gordon failed a test, or failed to show up to take a test. He has a history of failed drug tests during his NFL career, missing the entire 2015 and 2016 NFL seasons for substance abuse issues.