FOXBOROUGH — Before Sunday's game against the Jets, JoshGordon was certainly a member of the Patriots, but he was a bit of an enigma to even his teammates. Probably still is.
Sure, players huddled around him and protected him, called him part of the family and all that, but deep down his teammates really didn't know what to make of him.
He's gone to war with them — 14 games now — but you never got the sense he was truly part of the fabric of the team. He was an outlier and an outsider. Considering the history so many have on this team, that's not all that surprising.
It's also not surprising considering the issues Gordon has dealt with over the years, substance and otherwise. And, let's be honest, it's hard to fully embrace someone who's with you for 11 games, like Gordon was last season, and then was suddenly AWOL after a crushing loss in Pittsburgh with the season on the line, never to be heard from again as he was banished into the NFL's abyss of the indefinite suspension.
If Josh Gordon goes on to do great things this season — starting with lasting the entire campaign until, likely, February — you might be able to look back on Sept. 22, 2019, as the day Gordon truly became a member of these New England Patriots. And maybe, just maybe, the day a life that has always had unlimited potential, stayed on the straight and narrow for good.