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Josh Gordon reportedly facing another indefinite suspension from NFL

Yahoo! Sports logo Yahoo! Sports 12/20/2018 Frank Schwab

a man standing in front of a crowd: New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon said he’s taking a break from football, but a report said he’s facing a suspension. (AP) © Provided by Oath Inc. New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon said he’s taking a break from football, but a report said he’s facing a suspension. (AP) Once again, New England Patriots receiver Josh Gordon’s career has hit a bump in the road.

Gordon announced suddenly on Thursday he was stepping away from the Patriots to focus on his mental health. It isn’t entirely voluntary, according to a report. NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported Gordon was facing “another indefinite suspension for violating terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy.”

It looked for a while like Gordon, who has immense talent but hasn’t been able to shake the demons that have kept him off the field for various suspensions due to substance abuse, had found a positive home with the Patriots. Now he faces many more questions, as do the Patriots as they head into the playoffs.

Josh Gordon announces he’s stepping away ‘for a bit’

Gordon made no mention of the suspension when he said he was stepping away to focus on his mental health, saying he was doing so with the blessing of the Patriots, including coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft.

The Patriots had their own statement shortly after:

Gordon was available to the Patriots because the Cleveland Browns ran out of patience with him earlier this season. The Browns sent Gordon to the Patriots for a fifth-round pick. He had 720 yards and three touchdowns for the Patriots and had emerged as a dangerous target for Tom Brady.

With the news of the suspension looming, his NFL future is again up in the air.

Patriots lose key offensive player before playoffs

Anyone who has followed Gordon’s career knows that suspensions have overshadowed everything else — from 2013, when he led the NFL in receiving yards, through 2017 he played in only 10 games with the Browns due to multiple suspensions.

The Patriots seemed to have found a difference-making receiver for cheap in a trade, but there was a reason a receiver of Gordon’s talent didn’t cost more.

The Patriots’ offense has been good but not great, and that was with Gordon most of the season. New England currently is the No. 3 seed in the AFC behind Kansas City and Houston, and hasn’t been a great road team this season. Their path to the Super Bowl gets a lot tougher if Gordon is gone through January, and it appears that will be the case if he’s suspended.

There are more important things than football, like the 27-year-old Gordon getting his life on track. But the news on Thursday has a ripple affect for the Patriots, too.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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