Patriots players react after Josh Gordon announces leave from team

FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (WHDH) - Patriots players reacted Thursday to the news that star wide receiver Josh Gordon would be stepping away from the team to focus on his mental health.

Special teams captain Matthew Slater said the team’s “prayers are with Josh and your concern’s with him and what he’s dealing with, whatever that may be.”

Slater added, “I think we have a tendency to become so infatuated with what’s going on on the football field, as players and as media members, that we lose sight of the man sometimes, and our number one concern is with him as a man.”

Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty also offered his support to his teammate.

“I felt bad for him,” McCourty said. “The way you guys felt when you read it was how most of us probably felt. I would say that sums it up.”

In a statement, the Patriots wrote, “We support Josh in his continued efforts to focus on his health. His attempt to do so is a private and personal matter, which we intend to respect.”

Gordon made the announcement on social media Thursday morning.

The NFL later confirmed that Gordon has been returned to the reserve/commissioner suspended list indefinitely for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement under the league’s substance abuse policy.

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