Josh Gordon's ban stemmed from multiple violations

New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Thursday for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, but there's a chance he could be back on the field for the start of the 2019 season.

"He would have to show the NFL and (Commissioner) Roger Goodell that he is clean for a sustained period of time," NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL GameDay Morning on Sunday. "Could he be back possibly for the start of the 2019 season? From what I understand, it is possible, it would, of course, be a little bit quick, but it is possible for that to happen."

Rapoport also reported that Gordon's suspension stemmed from multiple violations of NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Gordon has a long history of mental health and substance-abuse issues. The star receiver missed two full seasons while being suspended and participated in just 11 games for the Cleveland Browns from 2014 to 2018. He was conditionally reinstated by the NFL in November 2017, appearing in five games with the team last season.

Gordon missed Browns training camp and the preseason while he received help to deal with undisclosed health issues. Cleveland then traded Gordon to the Patriots after he suffered a hamstring injury during a photo shoot.

While there might be a chance Gordon could return for the start of next season, there's also a danger the 27-year-old might never play another down in the NFL. Time will tell if Gordon will overcome his latest off-field setback.

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