Bill Belichick says Josh Gordon's departure from the Patriots is "an unfortunate situation" ... and the coach is hoping his troubled wideout is able to handle his issues going forward.
"Personally, I wish him the very best as we all do on this team," Bill told reporters Friday.
Gordon announced Thursday he was stepping away from the Pats to focus on his mental health ... just minutes before the NFL announced he violated the league's substance abuse policy once again.
Belichick declined to get into specifics of Gordon's problems with media members -- callin' it, "a private matter" -- but repeated he hopes the WR gets the help he needs.
"I hope that he's able to deal with it successfully," Belichick said.
As for if the Pats will continue to help Josh while he's away from the team ... Bill said, "We're going to get ready for Buffalo and play Buffalo on Sunday."
The Patriots traded for Gordon earlier in the season after the Cleveland Browns decided to cut bait. Over the years, Gordon had been suspended multiple times for substance abuse issues.
But, the final straw for Cleveland was when Gordon suffered an injury in Sept. while shooting a promotional video.
Gordon played 11 games for the Patriots and racked up 40 catches for 720 yards and 3 TDs.