Wide receiver Josh Gordon appears to be ready to return to the NFL after filing for reinstatement for violating the league's substance abuse policy last December. The 28-year-old football player was acquired from the Cleveland Browns in 2018 and Gordon struck it well with star quarterback Tom Brady in 11 games.

As of this writing, Gordon remains indefinitely suspended after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, ProFootballTalk reported. The former All-Pro wide receiver was not part of the Patriots NFL playoff run where the Patriots went on to win their sixth Super Bowl. Should he gain the nod of league officials, the Patriots have a lot to gain, especially with the retirement of Rob Gronkowski. However, Pats coach Bill Belichick is clueless on Gordon, reiterating that they have no control over his fate.

“We don’t have anything to do with Josh Gordon. He’s suspended. You need to talk to the league. We have no control over Josh Gordon,” said Belichick.

Regardless, Gordon remains a member of the Patriots despite being indefinitely suspended. It all boils down to how the NFL will rule on his case - a bit unique considering he has been hit with multiple drug-related suspensions in his career. But a bit of good news is that the NFL indicated that it is not giving up on him, something commissioner Roger Goodell addressed back in March, sources told Mike Reiss of ESPN.

"The first thing right now is to focus on Josh himself as a young man and what he needs to do to get his life on the right track. That's what our focus is. We have resources supporting that, and that's our hope—to make sure he gets on the right track."

A potential return by Gordon could raise the stakes of the Patriots who are expected to face stiff competition from a couple of teams. The list includes the Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

There is no telling if Gordon can fill up the slack vacated by Gronkowski. He was not a factor in the 2018 playoff run and there is the question of conditioning. Either way, the Pats could always try and see if they can whip up the 28-year-old wide receiver back to shape.

josh gordon Josh Gordon #10 of the New England Patriots runs on his way to scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo: Billie Weiss/Getty Images