RENTON -- Seahawks wide receiver Josh Gordon was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Monday for violations of the league's performance-enhancing drugs and substances of abuse policies.
Gordon caught seven passes for 139 yards in five games played for Seattle since being claimed off waivers from the New England Patriots last month. Gordon's 58-yard diving catch against the Carolina Panthers was the highlight of his short stint with the Seahawks. However, Gordon's issues with drug use has once again caught up to him.
"Our heart goes out to Josh having to face this again," head coach Pete Carroll said. "The fact that he’s up against it and all poses a great challenge to him. Fortunately he’ll have the benefit of all of the league’s resources to support him and to help him. We’ll wish him the very best in taking care of business. It’s very unfortunate.
"We saw Josh really at a really high level the whole time he was here. The work ethic he brought was one, but his getting along with people and being good to work with and to talk to and all of that and to deal with on a regular basis, really he was great. We were not aware that there was anything to be concerned about other than the history, which we knew about.”
Carroll said the team learned the suspension earlier on Monday. The Seahawks will not be able to have contact with Gordon moving forward during his suspension. However, he will have access to resources the league has put in place to help players dealing with drug problems.
“I feel for him in that regard," Carroll said. "He was in a really close knit group here and fit in and did really well. Josh has been through this before, unfortunately. I know just from talking with him the time he was with us he does understand where the help comes from and the support that’s out there and he does utilize the resources that the league offers. Just wish him the best and hope he can do well.”
Drug issues have frequently gotten in the way of Gordon's football career. After being indefinitely suspended at the University of Baylor, Gordon planned to transfer to the University of Utah before entering the NFL's supplemental draft instead.
Gordon would be suspended two games in 2013, 10 games in 2014 and then the entirety of the 2015 season for ongoing violations of the substance-abuse policy. He would miss all of the 2016 season as well due to suspensions and personal decisions to seek treatment for his problems. The Cleveland Browns also suspended him one game at the end of the 2014 season for a violation for team rules.
Gordon would be reinstated by the NFL in 2017 where he would play in just five games for the Browns amid ongoing issues. After one game played for the team in 2018, he was traded to the New England Patriots. Gordon would play in 11 games for the Patriots last year before stepping away to focus on his health as the league imposed another suspension.
He was reinstated again by the NFL and he appeared in six games for New England this season before being waived/injured by the Patriots and claimed off waivers by Seattle.
However, this is the first time that performance-enhancing drugs have been part of Gordon's suspensions.
Gordon had become heavily involved in Seattle's receiver rotation. Gordon played on 25 of 67 offensive snaps Sunday against the Panthers, which was the third most snaps behind only Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
"He had impact to some extent it seemed like every game. But this isn’t about that. This is about Josh getting well and taking care of business," Carroll said.
Gordon had expressed a desire last week to remain with the Seahawks beyond this season and expressed how happy he was to be a part of the the team with the culture they have. Now the Seahawks will need to turn back to Jaron Brown, David Moore, Malik Turner and John Ursua to handle the load moving forward with Gordon becoming unavailable.
"We had seven receivers active in this game this week so we’ve got guys we really like. That’s why it was kind of hard to feature anybody," Carroll said.
"Tyler is the guy that really gets the features when it just seems to work out that way when he’s well. I don’t think this really is going to affect us in a tremendous way. Our guys can play. All of our guys can play. ... We’re in good shape right now at the position. I love the position group.”
-- Linebacker Bobby Wagner (ankle): "He’s feeling pretty good. That’s all I can tell you right now. We’re going to have to wait on a number of guys until we get into the work of the week and see what effect that has. But he’s pretty determined about playing."
-- Free safety Quandre Diggs (ankle): "He had good results to his tests but he does have a sprained ankle. He’s got a high-ankle sprain. He’s had it before, I think, in the same ankle. So he does have some background, which usually helps these guys get through it. I’m going to generally be pretty optimistic about it but his ankle situation is more severe than Bobby’s was."
-- Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (flu/core): "Yeah. He’s over the sickness now so he’s got to go through the week and see how he can handle and see if he’s ready to play on Sunday."
-- Cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hamstring): "Shaq’s made a good turn. We won’t know until like Friday on him. Friday or Saturday. He’ll get some work done Wednesday though so we’ll see. I don’t know how extensive it will be. But he feels pretty confident that he can do some stuff but we’ve got to see how it goes. Again, it will always be about how he responds to the workload to see if he can handle it and we’ll see."
-- Linebacker Mychal Kendricks (hamstring): "Mike’s a little bit ahead (of Griffin), I think, just in that he’s been running more, working out and all of that. He’s pretty determined to play too. There’s been a couple weeks here so by the end of this week, if he doesn’t have any setbacks he’s got a chance. It’s going to be four or five guys we’re going to have to wait and see really."
Photo Credit: CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 15: Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Josh Gordon #10 runs the ball as Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson #26 tries to defend in the game at Bank of America Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)