Not even injury could stop Josh Gordon on Sunday.
In the first half, Gordon appeared to have injured his back, and in the third quarter, he jammed his finger in a face mask and returned from the medical tent yet again with his pinky and ring finger taped. What resulted was a test of resilience, as he caught a 28-yard pass from Tom Brady just moments after, leaping over Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts. The spectacular catch was just one of the many ways Gordon fought through injury and delivered on the field.
“We call that a ‘war daddy deluxe’,” teammate Matthew Slater said about the play . “[Gordon] was out there taking hits, dislocating … He showed a lot of toughness today.”
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 22, 2019
After the game, Gordon explained the “mindset” that motivates him on the field.
“Things fly in front of your face all the time,” he said. “I think the mindset going into every game as a wide receiver is to attack the ball ferociously. You can’t come down with all of them, but the ones that you’ve got a good chance of grabbing, you better try to grab it as best you can.”
He went on to share how he prides himself on mental toughness, noting that he believes his approach outside of football helps him thrive when he plays.
“I think my life, the battle of perseverance is something that can show through my play and my mindset and how I attack the game,” he added. “I think I’ve always been that way, just always having the mindset to not leave anything undone, not give it my best if I could do so. Physically, I think I’ve always just kind of been a fighter in some type of way – was going to have to fight back, was going to be the underdog – and that’s my mindset when I step out there on the field and play each week.”
He also credited Brady for trusting him to make big plays.
“I’m just really glad he still had faith in me throughout the course of the game to keep dinging it my way,” Gordon said. “I’m glad he saw me on the back side there and a converted type of a route versus their cover 2 look. I just had enough space to make a play on the ball at that point in time and try to stay in, and I really just wanted to make a play and move the sticks and keep us out there a little bit longer and try to win the game.”
Brady praised Gordon after the game as well. “He went wire-to-wire,” he said. “He’s going to be pretty tired tomorrow. Proud of him and what he accomplished today. That was a huge play in the game.”