The New England Patriots are playing in their third consecutive Super Bowl with quarterback Tom Brady leading the way. A victory in Super Bowl 53 would give him the Super Bowls of any player in NFL history. Brady will have to win the game without game breaking wide receiver Josh Gordon.
The 27-year old receiver from Baylor was indefinitely suspended by the NFL for violating the terms of his reinstatement in December. Gordon was third on the team in receiving yards with 720 and only Julian Edelman averaged more than Gordon’s 65.5 yards per game. He started the season off with the Cleveland Browns, but was traded to the Patriots after playing in only one game.
Gordon is looking to play again in the NFL as the receiver was seen in a rehab facility in Gainesville, Florida. He has been spotted at a gym in the Gainesville area earlier in January because the facility gave him the freedom to work out during his time there. The Patriots are paying for Gordon’s rehab and he would receive a Super Bowl ring if they beat the Los Angeles Rams on February 3, 2019.
The NFL and the NFL Player’s Association are helping Gordon battle his drug addiction. Gordon’s issues with drugs have been with him for most of his life as he started using drugs at 13. In an interview with GQ, Gordon stated when he first starting using drugs and how often he did it before games.
In 2013, Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646, despite being suspended for two games. He was suspended indefinitely at Baylor for two separate marijuana incidents and declared for the 2011 supplemental draft. His entire football career has been intertwined with drugs, so his time in the rehab facility is vital for him to have another chance in the NFL.
He could still return to the Patriots after rehab, but many teams are not going to give the 27-year old receiver a chance. Gordon may have played his last NFL game when he left the NFL in December, but his time in rehab could give him one final opportunity to play in the NFL.