Sports | December 20, 2018 12:34 pm

Loss of Josh Gordon Leaves Patriots With Huge Hole In Receiving Corps

Gordon's 720 yards lead the Patriots in receiving yardage.

FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 2: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (left) congratulates Josh Gordon after his touchdown  in the third quarter. The New England Patriots play against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Dec. 02, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 2: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (left) congratulates Josh Gordon after his touchdown in the third quarter. The New England Patriots play against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Dec. 02, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Boston Globe via Getty Images

Troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon abruptly announcing he was leaving football to focus on his mental health – possibly after being informed he was being suspended – leaves the New England Patriots with a huge hole in their receiving corps.

True, Gordon was not the impact player in New England many thought he would be, but he did manage to catch 40 balls for 720 yards and three touchdowns during 11 games with the Patriots.

Gordon’s 720 yards lead the Patriots in receiving and his 68 targets are third on the team behind only James White and Julian Edelman. Those two players, along with tight end Rob Gronkowski, were ahead of him in Tom Brady’s pecking order, but Gordon was at least the fourth-best option.

Without him in the lineup, the Patriots will be forced to rely on less-than-stellar pass catchers like Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Phillip Dorsett (who has barely seen the field since Gordon joined the team).

Even though Gordon wasn’t great, he was certainly a better, and more consistent, option for Brady than any of those players.

It’s certainly not shaping up to be a recipe for success for a team that just lost two straight games in December for the first time in more than a decade and needs to win their final two contests in order lock down a favorable playoff spot.

It’s possible the team brings in a free agent (Brandon Marshall perhaps), but for now it looks like the team will move forward with a combination of Hogan, Patterson, and Dorsett replacing Gordon. That’s a bad combo.