NFL: Patriots May Have Signaled End of Josh Gordon Era

Veteran wide receiver Josh Gordon has hit another hurdle with his nagging knee injury that led to the New England Patriots to place him on the injured reserve on Wednesday afternoon. However, Gordon appears to have other plans in mind in the wake of this news that could mark the end of his tenure with the franchise.

Josh Gordon’s rocky NFL career

Patriots wide receiver Josh gordon
Josh Gordon went through several ups and downs off the field that threatened his NFL future. | Mark Brown/Getty Images

Since entering the league back in 2012, Gordon has had his fair share of ups and downs with much leaning towards the former.

He has struggled with personal issues that landed him with multiple suspensions from the NFL that put his career in serious jeopardy. He was initially indefinitely suspended while with Cleveland Browns that put him out of the league for nearly three years.

Gordon made his return to the field, but another personal setback landed out of the league once again. He was able to work his way back in before being traded to the Patriots early in the 2018 campaign.

Not long after that, he suffered another setback as he was indefinitely suspended once again, but was reinstated just before the start of the 2019 regular season with New England. Gordon is now facing another career hurdle that could end his time with the Patriots.

Patriots place Josh Gordon on the season-ending IR

It has been a struggle for Gordon to stay on the field in his second year with the Patriots as he has dealt with a nagging left knee injury.

He had attempting to play through it, but was forced out the Week 6 win over the New York Giants after trying to make a tackle after a fumble. Gordon sat out Monday’s 33-0 blowout win over the New York Jets, which has led to the team to designate him for the injured reserve.

It’s a move that has even caught Gordon off by surprise as Mike Garofolo of the NFL Network stated that the star wideout had believed he was close to returning and will be looking to play elsewhere in free agency.

The move opens the door to various possibilities for Gordon as there is a clear desire to get back on the field at some point in the near future this season.

What’s next for Josh Gordon?

The designation from the Patriots puts Gordon out of the mix for the rest of the 2019 for their usage. It was a move that had the precursor with the sudden acquisition of Mohamed Sanu in exchange for a second-round pick on Tuesday morning.

It leaves Gordon with the only option to play this year is if New England decides to cut him, which would put him on the waiver wire for any other team in the league to place a claim on him. It begins with the worst record in the league, which is currently held by the Miami Dolphins.

If Gordon can prove that he is past his nagging knee injury, he has proven to be a highly effective receiving option on the field. He is a legitimate deep-threat target and a major red-zone asset that many teams in the league needing help at the wide receiver position will take a chance on.

There will be a reasonable concern about his ability to stay out of personal struggles as that has played a factor in preventing him from being on the field. It’s a part of the situation that any interested team would vet him thoroughly to check where he is at mentally and physically at this point in his career.

Ultimately, if the Patriots do grant him his wish to be released, there will be several teams lined up for his services.