The Patriots placed Josh Gordon on injured reserve Wednesday, signaling the end of the receiver’s time in New England. Gordon aggravated two bone bruises in his left knee in the second quarter of the team’s Week 5 win over the New York Giants, when he attempted a tackle after the Giants recovered a Patriots fumble. His being placed on the IR tracks with New England’s trade for Mohamed Sanu, though it may have come as a surprise to Gordon himself, who commented, “Interesting” on the NFL’s Instagram announcement. Gordon missed Monday’s game against the Jets, but he’d been seen riding a stationary bike in the second half of the Giants game, and there was no indication his injury was anything major.
Indeed, almost immediately after his placement on the IR hit the transaction wire, reports surfaced that Gordon’s injury isn’t season-ending, and that the receiver believes he’ll be cleared to return to play soon. (Albert Breer’s source says Gordon was doing 22 miles an hour on the treadmill earlier today.) NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport followed up to report the Patriots are expected to waive Gordon when he is fully healthy.
So the Patriots’ decision here is likely a response to both Gordon’s injury and his production this season, which wasn’t anything to scoff at, but may not have been what Patriots fans were hoping for: 20 receptions for 287 yards and one touchdown. The addition of Sanu and the impending return of rookie N’Keal Harry, already designated to return from injured reserve, left the Patriots with seven receivers on their roster. Gordon isn’t quite healthy enough for them to cut, so placing him on IR quickly opens up the roster spot they need.
Let’s hope for Gordon’s sake he doesn’t end up in Miami: