FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The NFL says that Patriots receiver Josh 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.

     He missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He was reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2017 and at the time revealed in an interview with GQ magazine that he drank or used marijuana before games.

     Gordon said earlier Thursday that he was stepping away from football to focus on his mental health, but vowed to work his way back into the sport.

     The New England Patriots say in a statement that they support the decision of wide receiver Josh Gordon to step away from football to focus on his mental health.

     Patriots officials posted a statement Thursday on the team's website and Twitter that says: ``We support Josh Gordon 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.''

     The statement comes after Gordon himself said he was pulling back from football to gain ``a better grasp on things mentally.'' He is vowing to work his way back to the sport.

     Gordon has been suspended multiple times by the NFL for violations of its drug policies since being drafted by the Browns in 2012. Any sort of violation of NFL substance abuse policy could lead to an indefinite ban.

     He missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Prior to trading Gordon, Browns officials said they felt it was time to cut ties with him.

     Gordon had an All-Pro season in 2013, with 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He's had 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns since joining New England.

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     AP-WF-12-20-18 1957GMT