NASHVILLE — Hours before he was putting the final touches on preparations for his team’s exhibition game with the Tennessee Titans, Bill Belichick weighed in on the NFL’s decision to reinstate Josh Gordon.
“For the past eight months, Josh’s situation has been entirely a league matter,’’ the Patriots coach said in a statement released Saturday by the team. “When Josh returns to our program, we will evaluate the entire situation and do what we feel is best for Josh and the team.’’
While Gordon could immediately jump to No. 2 on the team’s depth chart at wide receiver when he reports to Foxborough as early as Sunday, it’s clear Belichick is taking a wait-and-see approach with Gordon.
After acquiring him early last season from the Browns for a draft pick, Gordon had an immediate impact on the offense, catching 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns before he was indefinitely suspended in December for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement under the league’s policy on substance abuse.
It will need to be a quick evaluation of Gordon, who is allowed to practice right away but can’t play until New England’s final preseason game against the Giants Aug. 29. That’s typically a game where the starters see little or no playing time.