By now, most football fans know all about Josh Gordon. He's long been considered one of the most talented players in the NFL, but he's almost never been considered reliable. Gordon has been open about his drug and alcohol issues, and in the past he was suspended multiple times for everything from violations of team rules to violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy.
So it was not surprising that, when Gordon ran afoul of team rules one more time early this season, the Cleveland Browns decided they'd had enough and they needed to trade him. It was still surprising, but somewhat less surprising, that the Patriots were the team that elected to take a chance on Gordon, bringing him in for just a late-round draft pick. It's even less surprising that Gordon has emerged once again as an excellent player in New England.
It is, however, very surprising (given his history) to hear a teammate describe Gordon as "reliable," which is exactly what Rob Gronkowski did this week.
"He's brought a lot," Gronkowski said, per NBC Sports Boston. "The way he just plays. The way he catches the ball, gets that burst, gets us the first downs when we need it. Just another player on our team that's reliable whenever we need him. Just great to have him. Great to have him as part of the team."
Nobody, anywhere, has ever disputed or looked down on Gordon's talent. He's been a game-breaker from Day 1 in the NFL and he's been very good with the Pats, leading the NFL in yards per reception since Week 4 and racking up 39 catches for 701 yards and three scores during that time, despite the fact that he played only limited snaps his first few weeks with the team.