New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon says he is stepping away from football to focus on his mental health.
Gordon wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning that he is leaving the team "for a bit" and did not specify a timetable for his return. The former Cleveland Browns standout, who has been suspended multiple times in his career for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, also took an extended absence from football during training camp earlier this year.
"I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level," Gordon wrote on Twitter. "I have recently felt like I could have a better grasp on things mentally. With that said, I will be stepping away from football for a bit to focus on my mental health.
"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 110%."
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