The Patriots used the minor designation for his placement on injured reserve Wednesday, signifying a lesser injury. That means the team has to release him upon his return to health.
If this happens after Tuesday’s trade deadline, Gordon would be subject to waivers and other teams could put in a claim for him — and he could be on a roster at that time.
Gordon had been playing through a left knee injury and was knocked out of the team’s Oct. 10 win over the New York Giants when he injured the knee while attempting to make a tackle after a Patriots fumble. He missed a 33-0 win over the New York Jets on Monday.
Through six games, Gordon has totaled 20 catches for 287 yards and one touchdown.
In December, Gordon was suspended indefinitely for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement under the NFL’s drug policy. His suspension was lifted in August by commissioner Roger Goodell.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss contributed to this report.