New Seattle Seahawks receiver Josh Gordon’s first catch didn’t come until the fourth quarter of Monday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, but it was an important one.
With the score tied at 21 and just more than three minutes remaining in the game, quarterback Russell Wilson connected with Gordon for a 13-yard gain on third down. The reception sustained Seattle’s drive, one that ended in a 46-yard field goal with under two minutes remaining.
Later in overtime, which the 49ers forced thanks to a 47-yard field goal from rookie Chase McLaughlin, Gordon came up clutch again on third down, this time for a 14-yard conversion. The two catches were Gordon’s lone targets of the night in his first game as a Seahawk.
“Josh had two fine catches,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after Seattle’s dramatic 27-24 win. “He didn’t get to do as much as he was hoping for, but there’s no question he’s going to be able to help us. He’s a great kid.”
Gordon gave credit to Wilson, saying he was just in the right place at the right time. Wilson returned the praise, calling Gordon “a great addition” to the team and shouted out his ability to make plays.
Leading up to Monday’s game, Wilson recognized Gordon’s attentiveness and cited his diligent highlighting and notetaking.
“He’s been studying like crazy,” Wilson said. “He’s in his playbook nonstop.”
Gordon said earlier in the week he is “extremely excited” and “grateful” to join the Seahawks, who claimed him off waivers on Nov. 1 with the 28th priority in the league. Gordon also said he was surprised when the Patriots placed him on injured reserve and later released him, a sentiment he reiterated in an interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters during the broadcast Monday night. The 28-year-old was placed on injured reserve with a “minor injury designation,” which required the Patriots to release him once healthy.
“We all know the business,” he said. “It can be short-lived anywhere. You never know what can happen day to day in the NFL. But that was the decision they made, and I’m glad to be [in Seattle] now, though.”
Gordon, who was limited in practice leading up to his release, noted he feels “great” when asked about his lingering knee and ankle injuries.
“It’s been a while since I played,” he said Monday. “Getting my legs underneath me, getting back in the environment, but it’s not too long. Fortunately enough, I think I’ve had enough experience playing in big games — in New England, a few in Cleveland, and now [Seattle]. The atmosphere, the environment is very familiar. You’re just doing it with new people.”
One of those new teammates is Wilson, a player Gordon had been looking forward to playing with for a while. The pair have known each other for close to five years and have kept in touch.
‘‘Me and [Russell] have been talking about it for a little while behind the scenes, how nice it would be, but here I am,’’ Gordon said. ‘‘I admire his game. I think maybe he respected mine mutually. I love the way he plays. It’s as simple as that. He’s just a great ballplayer. He can make it happen from pretty much anywhere.’’
On the third team of his NFL career, Gordon is hopeful for the future.
“I’m grateful to be here,” Gordon said. “There’s a lot of gratitude. Definitely thankful to land in a spot like this. It could have been anywhere. I couldn’t control that.”