Josh Gordon, a wide receiver for the New England Patriots, is “stepping away” from the NFL for the sake of his mental health, he announced on Twitter on Thursday.
“I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level,” he wrote. “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,” Gordon continued. “I would like to thank Coach [Bill] Belichick, Mr. [Robert] 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 getting back to 100%.”
In a press release on Thursday, the New England Patriots said, “We support Josh Gordon in his continued efforts to focus on his health. His attempt to do so is a private and personal matter, which we intend to respect.”
Reps for the Patriots did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
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The news came as Gordon’s potential suspension loomed. “#Patriots WR Josh Gordon is facing another indefinite suspension for violating terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy, per source,” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Twitter.
Gordon was suspended from Baylor’s football team in college, according to The Washington Post. He was suspended for most of the past four seasons due to drug violations, ESPN reported. He did not attend part of a training camp with his last team, the Cleveland Browns, because of his mental health.
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