FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon has been removed from the non-football injury list, paving the way for him to be part of the team's game plan for the Sept. 8 opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Gordon, who was conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Aug. 16, practiced in full pads for the first time Sunday.
He is also eligible to play in the Patriots' preseason finale against the visiting New York Giants on Thursday.
The pieces have come together for the Patriots' receiving corps in the past week. In addition to Gordon's return, Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman (thumb) was activated from the non-football injury list Monday and veteran Demaryius Thomas was activated from the physically unable to perform list (Achilles) Tuesday.
That trio joins first-round draft choice N'Keal Harry, five-year veteran Phillip Dorsett and undrafted Jakobi Meyers (NC State) atop the depth chart. Harry has been sidelined since suffering a leg injury in the preseason opener Aug. 8.
The day after Gordon was reinstated, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said they would "evaluate the entire situation and do what we feel is best for Josh and the team."
With Gordon back at practice, the Patriots released receiver Maurice Harris on Sunday, a source told ESPN's Field Yates. Harris was one of the standout performers in spring practice and generated some early momentum in training camp, but he suffered an undisclosed injury on Aug. 14 during a practice with the Tennessee Titans and hadn't practiced since.
Also on Sunday, Thomas spoke with Patriots reporters for the first time since he signed a one-year deal in the spring. He was asked how much he has left in the tank, and the 31-year-old Thomas said, "I still can go. Knock a little rust off and keep building the days."
Thomas is coming off a torn Achilles tendon in December and said he was surprised that he was activated from the PUP list this fast because he did something similar in his second season.
Thomas said it was his understanding that the Patriots were the only team interested in him. His locker is right next to Tom Brady.
On hitching up with Edelman often at practice, he said, "I'm just trying to fit in where I can and ask him as many questions as I can from Julian. He's been with Tom for 11 years."