New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon reportedly violated the NFL's drug policy multiple times before his suspension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, and tested positive for more than just marijuana:
Gordon, 27, was suspended indefinitely by the league, his fifth suspension since being drafted:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Josh Gordon now facing fifth suspension. Suspended two games in 2013 for substance abuse violation; for full season, before having it reduced to 10 games, in 2014 for same violation; for one more game in 2014 for violating team rules; and indefinitely in 2015 for substance abuse.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Gordon was assigned people with him at all times by the Patriots, but the wideout slipped through the security plan.
Taking into account the remainder of the 2018 season, Gordon will have played in just 52 of a possible 112 games since being drafted in 2012, including missing the entirety of the 2015-16 seasons. When on the field, he's been dynamic, catching 220 passes for 3,826 yards and 19 scores.
He was solid for the Patriots in 2018, accumulating 40 receptions for 720 yards and three touchdowns. But Gordon, who has struggled with addiction throughout his playing career, ultimately tested positive again for banned substances.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Pats "had no indications" that Gordon was potentially facing another suspension. An unnamed member of the organization spoke to La Canfora about Gordon, questioning whether the NFL's rules for suspended players would offer Gordon the support he needs:
"He is not a bad kid at all. We enjoyed working with him. I just feel awful for him. This is a really sad time for Josh, and for us. And it's not about football. You always have to deal with injuries and different personnel each week. That's what all teams do.
"This is about Josh, and is he going to be getting the right help and support now? Is this about helping him, or punishing a kid who has not shown that he can handle what the league says he should be able to handle? Because if this was easy, then Josh would have already overcome it. He needs help and he needs support and direction. We were aware of that and trying to do what we could for him, and it's unfortunate we can't continue to do that with him in our building, whether he can play or not."
Gordon's NFL career is in jeopardy after his latest suspension, though Rapoport noted that it is possible that Gordon could be reinstated for the start of the 2019 season.
"He would have to show the NFL, and show Roger Goodell, that he is clean for a sustained period of time," Rapoport said.