NFL Policy On Substance Abuse, Mental Health Evolving

Josh Gordon's reinstatement might say as much about the league as it does the player, Jim McBride says

August 23, 2019 - 9:46 am
Josh Gordon Patriots

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The NFL has reinstated Josh Gordon, which might say more about the league than the player.

“I think this has a lot to do with the league’s evolving policy not only on substance abuse and marijuana, but mental health,” Boston Globe Patriots writer Jim McBride said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Josh has had mental health issues in the past and that’s one of the things that he’s cited as a reason for using marijuana or whatever he got into. I think the league is kind of sensitive to that now, and I think that’s why he’s getting these chances. They really want to see him succeed, and they want to see him overcome these demons that really have haunted him for five or six years now.”

Gordon, 28, led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards – in just 14 games – in 2013. Since then, he’s had an up-and-down – mostly down – career. But he did average 18.0 yards per catch in 11 games with New England last season. 

“He’s a guy that came in and picked up that offense very quickly,” McBride said. “It’s real hard for veteran guys to walk in and pick up the offense as quick as he did. But really, the second week he was there, he became a go-to guy. He became such an important part of that offense that really Chris Hogan and Phil Dorsett kind of became afterthoughts. Then they had to step up their game when Josh was suspended. I would expect that he’s going to be fully involved in the offense.”

In fact, McBride believes Gordon could be ready to play against the Steelers in Week 1.

“This guy really is a physical freak,” he said. “He looks like a tight end but he runs like a receiver. I don’t think it would take very long for him to get into shape. I think with his knowledge of the offense and his comfortable situation with Brady, if he’s ready, you’re going to see him opening night.”

Click below to listen to McBride’s interview in its entirety.