It never gets easier for Detroit Lions fans. As if it weren’t enough for the team to kick off the Matt Patricia era with two disappointing losses, their next matchup against the New England Patriots may have just gotten a bit harder.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Patriots are trading a fifth-round pick for Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon:
Full compensation trade update: Patriots send Browns a 2019 fifth-round pick for WR Josh Gordon and get back a 2019 seventh-round pick if he is not active for 10 games, source tells ESPN. Trade was supposed to be for a 6th-round pick, but Patriots don't have a 6th.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2018
The Browns announced over the weekend they planned on releasing Gordon after they reached a point where they “feel it’s best to part ways and move forward.” Reports suggested that Cleveland finally lost trust in the troubled receiver after he arrived at their practice facility late and suffering from an injury suffered during a promotional shoot. Some reports even suggested Gordon was “not himself” when he arrived, speculating that he may be struggling with substance abuse, something that has earned him multiple suspensions in the past.
With the Patriots, Gordon will have another shot at a fresh start, and he could play as soon as Sunday night’s tilt against the Lions. According to Schefter, Gordon’s injury over the weekend is not serious enough to put his availability in doubt this week. The question remains when the Patriots will be comfortable enough to play him.
They could certainly use the help immediately. New England’s receivers combined for just 11 catches and 104 yards against the Jaguars last week. Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson are not exactly a triple threat with Julian Edelman still serving a four-game suspension.
So Gordon could very likely play this week, but will he be super effective? Obviously, Tom Brady will be the best quarterback he’s ever played with, but Gordon has only played in six games in the past three years, and his last performance was a modest three-catch, 17-yard performance.