For the final two games of the regular season, wide receiver Josh Gordon will be available for the Seattle Seahawks, and quarterback Russell Wilson is among those hoping Gordon can reach his potential.
The Baylor product has long struggled with substance abuse, leading to seven suspensions by the NFL. Now with the Seahawks, he's looking to prove he can once again stay healthy and contribute.
"I'm rooting for him to be able to overcome," Wilson told reporters Thursday. "I hope this time is better than the last time."
Seattle claimed the receiver in November 2019, deploying him in five games before the league suspended him in December. The franchise re-signed him in September hoping it would have him back on the field sooner than later.
Gordon can begin COVID-19 testing on Friday, allowing him to rejoin the team five days after testing negative, but he won't be able to practice or play in any games until after Week 15.
That would leave him available for a December 27 home game against the Los Angeles Rams as well as Week 17's rivalry game at the San Francisco 49ers. Both games are likely to have playoff implications as the 8-3 Seahawks remain one game up on the Rams (7-4) in the division standings.
If Seattle plans to use Gordon like it did last year, the wideout can expect to serve as a third or fourth receiving option behind D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and David Moore. Yet with game-changing speed, it only takes one or two passes for the former Cleveland Browns star to exploit the defense.
"He's an amazing receiver," Wilson said. "A guy who was great for us last season, made some great plays."
Wilson targeted Gordon just 11 times in 2019 with the wideout catching seven passes for 139 yards. Gordon's final performance last season saw him haul in a 58-yard pass on the only ball thrown his way.
The small sample size was enough to convince the Seahawks to hang onto Gordon a bit longer.
Now that he can begin the process of rejoining the team, Wilson is ready to help make that decision pay off.