New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon announced Thursday that he would be taking time away from football to focus on his mental health.
“I take my mental health very serious at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level,” Gordon wrote in a statement on Twitter.
“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 thanked Patriots owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, the organization and its fans.
The team also released a statement in support of Gordon’s “continued efforts to focus on his health.”
Statement from the New England Patriots on Josh Gordon: pic.twitter.com/tXmXrXVrJL
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 20, 2018
According to ESPN, at the start of the NFL season, the 27-year-old was a player for the Cleveland Browns. However, he missed the beginning of training camp because he was seeking counseling for mental health issues and anxiety.
Three weeks later, he played one game before being traded to the Patriots in exchange for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick. During his first 11 games with New England, he gained the trust of his teammates including Rob Gronkowski. Gordon also had success catching 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns.
Throughout his four seasons, the wide receiver was suspended numerous times for drug violations. According to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero, Gordon is facing another suspension for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
#Patriots WR Josh Gordon is facing another indefinite suspension for violating terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy, per source. He announced today he’s stepping away to address his mental health.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 20, 2018
Gordon has been very open about his struggles with addiction and mental health.