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Patriots' Josh Gordon 'stepping away' from NFL, facing suspension

By
Alex Butler
New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon (10) charges down field on a 55-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers on November 4 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI
New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon (10) charges down field on a 55-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers on November 4 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 20 (UPI) -- New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon is once again departing the NFL.

Gordon announced his decision to "step away" from football on Thursday, citing mental health. A source told NFL Network that Gordon is facing another indefinite suspension for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy.

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The 27-year-old had 720 yards and three touchdowns on 40 receptions in 11 starts this season for New England after being traded by the Cleveland Browns in September.

"I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level," Gordon tweeted. "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."

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"I would like to thank coach [Bill] Belichick, Mr. [Robert] Kraft, as well as countless others within the Patriots organization for their continued support. I want to thank my fans for their support as well as I continue down the path getting back to 100 percent."

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Gordon missed two full seasons due to suspensions and played in just 10 games between 2014 and 2018.

"We support Josh Gordon and his continued efforts to focus on his health," the Patriots said in a statement. "His attempt to do so is a private and personal matter, which we intend to respect."

The Patriots host the Buffalo Bills at 1 p.m. Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

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