The latest bombshell of NFL news was dropped Thursday when Josh Gordon announced he was stepping away from the New England Patriots to focus on his mental health.
The veteran wide receiver is facing an indefinite suspension from the NFL for violating the substance abuse policy, something he's done multiple times before this latest breach.
The social media reaction was one of surprise despite Gordon's history. The Patriots have a pretty good track record of helping players turn around their careers, and nothing from Gordon's performance on the field or conduct off of it while employed by the Patriots would've given anyone reason to believe this was coming.
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Here's a sampling of the reaction to Gordon's news on Twitter.
First, this strange tweet (now deleted) from NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. There's a lot in here, the first being the Patriots knew this was coming. The other, and more puzzling note, is that Gordon not being on the field for the final play of Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers is somehow tied to the coming suspension.
Here's some other notable social media reaction.
On the surface it had appeared Josh Gordon was doing fine. A reminder we don't really know what is going on behind-the-scenes. While it's unfortunate things ended this way, hopefully Josh can get the helps he needs. #MentalHealthMatters #Addiction #SickNotWeak https://t.co/ocKbvgUqoa — Trenni Kusnierek (@trenni) December 20, 2018
Hard for me to imagine a worse possible sports take situation than this current group of Pats fans/media screaming about Josh Gordon today — Michael Dyer (@Mike_Dyer13) December 20, 2018
With Gordon off the team, the Patriots now need Gronk, Edelman and White to step up. Also a huge opportunity for Chris Hogan to prove his worth. Had a huge Super Bowl with 6 catches, 8 targets, 128 yards and a TD. Pats still have a lot of weapons. — Mike Petraglia (@Trags) December 20, 2018
If u have any experience w/loved one that struggles w/mental health/addiction, u know just how difficult it can be to overcome & control. My heart breaks for Josh Gordon on a basic human level. The hell w/football. I'm talking about the man. Never quit fighting @JOSH_GORDONXII — Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) December 20, 2018
Substance abuse is usually a symptom. It's self-medication. We've spent a long time treating people like Josh Gordon w/histories of relapses with scorn when what they need is help. I'm glad to see he's getting it & I hope it inspires others in similar situations to do the same — John Karalis ���� (@RedsArmy_John) December 20, 2018
Losing Gordon (65.5 yards/game) is a blow for the Patriots offense, but he's a person, not just a football player, and owes it to himself and the people who care about him to do this if it's the right thing. — Nora Princiotti (@NoraPrinciotti) December 20, 2018
Patriots tried to replenish their receivers depth after losing Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola with the following:
Lots of swings and misses — Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) December 20, 2018
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