Josh Gordon gets another NFL chance with the Chiefs




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KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) –

At 30 and after five NFL suspensions for violating league drug policies that cost him three full seasons, wide receiver Josh Gordon describes his landing with the Kansas City Chiefs as “a dream destination.”

“Opportunity is a blessing, it’s a blessing to have,” Gordon said. “More importantly, this one being here. It’s brand new, it’s current, I am in the present. I take everything in hand and take advantage of it.

Excelling in the field has rarely been a problem for Gordon. He won All-Pro honors in 2013 with Cleveland, leading the league with 1,646 receiving yards. In 64 NFL games over nine seasons, Gordon totaled 4,263 receiving yards. His career 17.2 yards per reception ranks second among active players behind DeSean Jackson at 17.6 yards.

The suspensions, however, served countless speed bumps in stops with Cleveland, New England and Seattle. Until last Sunday night, he hadn’t played an NFL game since December 15, 2019 after receiving his last league suspension. He was conditionally reinstated in December 2020, but the league determined he had breached the terms of his reinstatement and resumed his indefinite suspension.

When the NFL last month granted Gordon his chance to return to the football field, several teams expressed interest, including the Seahawks with whom Gordon spent part of the 2019 and 2020 seasons. But when the Chiefs did. a last-minute offer for his services, Gordon said it was the choice that “made the most sense.”

“I didn’t know anything about the city,” Gordon said. “I just knew the right group of guys here, the environment, I only heard good things, the camaraderie, the family environment. When I got here I immediately knew this place that could watch over me, take care of me, and I can reciprocate and just come in and do my job and make it easier for me.

Gordon signed with the Chiefs’ training squad on September 28, just a day after his re-entry into the NFL. The Chiefs showed little reluctance to work Gordon offensively, moving him from the practice squad to the active roster after just three practices. He impressed head coach Andy Reid with his intelligence and ability to quickly grasp the team’s offense.

“He’s easy to get around, he seems to fit in well with the guys. I feel like he’s in pretty good shape, ”said Reid. “I think he arrived in pretty good shape, but just playing the game now, I think he’s in a pretty good position right now.”

Gordon appreciates the style with which Reid directs his players.

“Coach Reid, I think he’s a cool guy under the collar, which I really like,” said Gordon. “He didn’t really ask me to hold higher standards, but to come and be a professional and do my job.”

In his first outing Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills, Gordon played nine snaps, with a reception for 11 yards. This improvised capture showed how Gordon can make big plays, according to quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

“It was kind of a broken game where I was rushing to the right and it’s such a big target, I could still see him, so I put him up there, trusting him, and he went up. over there and made a play, ”Mahomes said. “I thought he had done a lot of good things. He got off the ball strong, he ran fast, did stuff, didn’t miss any homework or anything like that.

Reid expected Gordon to get about 20 snaps against Buffalo last Sunday night. However, the Chiefs quickly fell into deficit and the resumption of their attacking pace meant fewer snaps for Gordon. He appears in a queue for a heavier workload this Sunday when the Chiefs visit Washington.

“We still have a few more games on the game plan sheet from last week,” said Reid. “He got a few more games in the game plan, so I think he’ll probably have a few more shots than that.”

Mahomes believes the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Gordon completes the receiving group with rare abilities.

“His skills are something that not many people have in this world,” Mahomes said. “Being that big, that fast, that strong, so I think as you get more comfortable – and you see it all the time in the receivers – when they start to believe that what they’re doing is the right thing, in this offense you will I see him play more and more games.

Off the pitch, Gordon quickly feels accepted in Kansas City, and he hopes this is the start of a long-term relationship.

“Fortunately, I don’t have the wear and tear on my body that someone I normally assume at this age and at this point in their career, so I hope I can play until 37, 38, who knows,” Gordon said. “I’m just lucky, I think, to be in this position. I don’t feel like I’m in a rush to do anything or do something that I’ve done in the past. I just want to be part of a big team and a big organization, to play my part.

He also hopes to apply one of the lessons he learned during his last absence from the game.

“Really, you have to have an extreme level of focus if you’re still going to do anything well with your life,” Gordon said. “I think persistence and gratitude, just appreciation for each day, being able to wake up healthy, having the resources that I have at my disposal to use and really going out there and getting what I want. most desires in life, and that at the moment is playing football in the NFL.

NOTES: On Friday, the Chiefs excluded DE Chris Jones (wrist), CB Charvarius Ward (quad) and TE Blake Bell (back) for Sunday’s game in Washington. … WR Tyreek Hill (quad) is listed as questionable, although Reid said “he’s bouncing pretty well out there” as a limited participant on Friday after the club kept him away from the sessions. training in the last two days. … LG Joe Thuney was a full participant in practice Friday after being absent the last two days with a broken hand suffered last week against Buffalo.

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