The NFL on Thursday officially suspended New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon, hours after Gordon announced that he planned to step away from football to address his mental health.
Gordon has been returned to the Reserve/Commissioner Suspended list indefinitely for violating terms of his reinstatement from a yearlong ban for substance abuse. The 27-year-old was suspended the entire 2015 season and has been banned a total of 56 games in his career, all for drug violations.
Gordon announced his decision on social media: “I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level. I have recently felt like I could have a better grasp on things mentally. With that said, I will be stepping away from the football field for a bit to focus on my mental health. I would like to thank Coach Belichick, Mr. Kraft, as well as countless others within the Patriots organization for their continued support. I want to thank my fans for their support as well as I continue down the path of getting back to 100 (percent).”
The Patriots expressed support in a statement: “We support Josh Gordon in his continued efforts to focus on his health. His attempt to do so is a private matter, which we intend to respect.”
—Buffalo running back LeSean McCoy plans to be on the field Sunday against the New England Patriots.
“I’ll be out there,” McCoy told reporters following practice.
McCoy was inactive for last week’s 14-13 win against Detroit with a hamstring injury.
—Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen expects to play Saturday against Baltimore, according to ESPN.
Los Angeles coach Anthony Lynn said Wednesday that Allen, who left last Thursday’s game against Kansas City with a hip pointer, would likely be a game-time decision. Running back Melvin Gordon (knee) is also expected to return to the lineup.
—Carolina placed linebacker Shaq Thompson (shoulder) on injured reserve and called up rookie quarterback Kyle Allen from the practice squad to take his spot on the 53-man roster.
Allen will back up Taylor Heinicke, starting this week against Atlanta in place of Cam Newton, whose season is over with an ailing shoulder.
Thompson, 24, played in every game — starting 11 — for the Panthers this season, finishing with 87 tackles (second on the team), 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
—New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton is encouraging the NFL to expand game-day rosters in order to protect players.
“The 46-man roster on game day ... will be soon dated. I think that’s gotta change,” said Payton, whose team finished Monday night’s win over Carolina with only five healthy offensive linemen. “If we’re interested in health and safety — and it sounds like we are; at least that’s something we talk about a lot — that number should be higher. And that’ll affect the overall roster size. And that might cost a little bit more money, but that’s the price.”
Under current rules, the league requires teams to deactivate seven of their 53 players on game day. It is supposed to ensure competitive balance, evening the scales if one team has more injuries than another.
—The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to award former New Orleans Saints defensive back Steve Gleason the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow on a civilian.
The award will recognize Gleason’s efforts in raising money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Gleason, diagnosed with ALS in 2011, would be the first NFL player given the honor.
The U.S. Senate unanimously endorsed Gleason for the honor in June, and President Donald J. Trump is expected to sign the bill in 2019, according to NFL.com.
—Thieves reportedly stole $5,000 worth of toys and bikes collected by Green Bay defensive tackle Kenny Clark, but the unknown Grinches couldn’t crush his community’s Christmas spirit.
Clark’s second-annual toy drive proceeded as scheduled in his hometown of San Bernardino, Calif., thanks to some generous last-minute donations.
—Former NFL player Dorial Green-Beckham was arrested in Missouri and faces charges of felony drug possession and resisting arrest after he was caught with nearly a pound of marijuana, Greene County police said.
Green-Beckham, 25, is being held without bond. Formal charges are pending.
—Rapper and six-time Grammy nominee Travis Scott will perform with headliner Maroon 5 during the Super Bowl LIII halftime show in Atlanta, TMZ and Rolling Stone reported.
Scott’s No. 1 single “Sicko Mode” is up for best rap performance and best rap song, and his latest album Astroworld is nominated for best rap album. TMZ also reported that Cardi B and Big Boi could possibly join the halftime show on Feb. 3.
—Field Level Media