BOSTON (CBS) — The good news for the Patriots? Josh Gordon has applied for reinstatement.

The bad news? Gordon’s playing fate now rests solely in the hands of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Suffice it to say, nobody in New England will be holding their breath in anticipation of seeing Gordon back out on the field with Tom Brady.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss confirmed Wednesday the report from the weekend which said Gordon officially applied for his NFL reinstatement. That step was necessary after the receiver was suspended indefinitely last December for violating the terms of his previous reinstatement. Gordon had been suspended multiple times during his career for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

The Patriots — including head coach Bill Belichick — have publicly expressed no knowledge of Gordon’s status. The NFL has publicly taken the same approach.

That uncertainty may have to do with Reiss’ note that when it comes to ruling on Gordon, it is Goodell and Goodell alone who can make the decision.

“NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has sole discretion on Gordon’s status and the timing in which a decision is ultimately made,” Reiss wrote. “Any decision would be based on whether Gordon has adhered to whatever treatment plan he is in.”

Given Goodell’s — shall we say — spotty history of applying fair and impartial rulings with regard to the Patriots, the outlook for Gordon stepping onto an NFL field does not look particularly excellent at this moment in time.

The Patriots kick off their preseason on Thurdsay night against the Detroit Lions, and you can watch it all on WBZ-TV. It begins Thursday at 7 p.m. with Patriots Game Day, followed by the game, beginning at 7:30 p.m. After the game, stay tuned for Patriots Fifth Quarter on WBZ.