Monday’s NFL: Josh Gordon returns to Patriots’ practice

Jimmy Golen
Associated Press
Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon warms up at practice on Monday in Foxborough, Mass.

Foxborough, Mass. — Oft-suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon returned to the Patriots’ practice field on Monday without pads and without saying when he might be able to play again.

Gordon was seen stretching on the field during the portion of the team’s workout that was open to the media. In the locker room before practice, he declined a request for an interview.

“I don’t have time today,” he said. “I’ll be around, though.”

The Patriots placed Gordon on the non-football injury list on Sunday, two days after the NFL reinstated him from an indefinite suspension that cost him the final three games of the 2018 regular season and the team’s Super Bowl run.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Gordon could participate in team meetings, conditioning and individual workouts while working himself back into shape.

A 2012 second-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns, Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy but still caught 87 passes for nine touchdowns and a league-leading 1,646 yards and was named to the All-Pro team.

He was suspended again in 2015 and missed two whole seasons. In interviews, he has acknowledged using Xanax, cocaine, marijuana and other narcotics, and he said in 2017 he smoked pot before “probably every game of my career.”

Rodgers to play in Canada

Aaron Rodgers is participating in practice and is expected to play in the Packers’ third preseason game against the Raiders in Canada.

Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst said Monday the plan is for Rodgers, a two-time MVP, to make his preseason debut Thursday night in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Rodgers sat out the Packers’ second preseason game in Baltimore and was out during practice Sunday because of back tightness.


Jim Hardy, the oldest living University of Southern California and Los Angeles Rams football player who was the MVP of the 1945 Rose Bowl, has died. He was 96.

The university said he died Aug. 16 of natural causes at his home in the desert city of La Quinta, 130 miles east of Los Angeles.

Hardy was selected eighth in the first round of the 1945 NFL draft by Washington. The quarterback spent seven seasons in the league and was part of the 1952 Detroit Lions team that won the NFL championship. He also played for the Rams (1946-48) and Chicago Cardinals (1949-51). He threw for 5,690 yards and 54 touchdowns.

Hardy played for the Rams in their inaugural season. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1950.

Preseason game

San Francisco 24, (at) Denver 15: Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders had a better return to action than 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco’s preseason win.

Broncos rookie QB Drew Lock injured his right thumb when he was sacked on the first series of the second half, cutting short his most significant action of the preseason in his quest to win the backup job behind starter Joe Flacco.

Sanders caught a 5-yard pass from Flacco on the Broncos’ first offensive play and added a 19-yard run on a reverse in his first game since tearing his left Achilles tendon in practice last December. (He also hauled in a 45-yard reception that was erased by left tackle Garett Bolles’ holding penalty).

Garoppolo went just 1-for-6 for zero yards and an interception in his first game since suffering a season-ending knee injury last September.

Flacco finished 7-of-11 for 59 yards and Lock was 7 of 12 for 40 yards when he got hurt. Lock was replaced by Kevin Hogan, who was intercepted by Dontae Johnson when his pass went through RB David Williams’ hands and off the face mask at the Denver 11 late in the fourth quarter.

Brandon McManus’ three field goals put Denver ahead 9-3 at the half. Raheem Mostert’s 30-yard TD run was the first of three straight TDs for San Francisco before Hogan’s 24-yard scoring run late in the game after Speight’s fumble.

Extra points

Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson is dedicating his rookie season to Darryl Drake.

Drake died a week ago and Johnson honored the Steelers’ former wide receivers coach with his first NFL touchdown reception in Pittsburgh’s second preseason game, a home victory Saturday against Kansas City.

... Star receiver Antonio Brown (Central Michigan) returned to training camp with the Raiders on Monday, a day after being given an ultimatum by general manager Mike Mayock to be “all in or all out.”

... Titans running back Derrick Henry is back at practice for the first time since hurting his calf on the opening day of camp.