During the open portion of practice Friday, number 25 interrupted his stretching routine to signal over to the media and say, “I am back.”
When the media entered the locker room Melvin Gordon sat at this locker with a huge smile on his face knowing the media scrum was for him. The running back admitted that one of the biggest reasons he came back was because of the Chargers 1-2 record.
“You don’t want to get into a big hole,” Gordon said. “You work the whole offseason being in a good position to make the playoffs. That’s the whole goal, and I had to come back at some point. Obviously, you come back, and the record isn’t what you expect. The whole work in the offseason really was for nothing. I just want to come back and help contribute.”
During his absence, the Chargers offense has been very good in the first half of games but has only managed to score 10 points in the second half. The team sits at 1-2 and had a very good running attack with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson.
On Thursday when head coach Anthony Lynn spoke to the media, he said the team would ease Gordon back into the offense and even used a roster exemption on him. On Friday, everything changed after it was announced that running back Justin Jackson would miss Sunday’s game against the winless Miami Dolphins with a calf strain.
"We understand that Melvin's been back for a day and a half, so we have to be careful if he plays, how much he plays and even if he plays at all," said Lynn.
There is a big chance that “Flash” will be on the field just three days after coming back, but it is a necessity. The offense will be missing Jackson along with tight end Hunter Henry and receiver Mike Williams.
"I'm good, man," Gordon said. "I didn't really get to gauge myself like I wanted to, but like I said if they call my number [I am ready]. I've been grinding. It's not like I've been sitting around and I'm coming in overweight or anything like that. But it's not like I get a preseason game to get warmed up. You kind of get in and get right in the fire."
While Gordon was holding out, he was in San Diego working out with one of the best personal trainers in California, Todd Durkin. The Wisconsin product brought his pads and helmets to workout with during his sessions with Durkin.
Gordon did admit that the hardest part about being away was missing the comradery in the locker room. He did keep in touch with his teammates because he wanted to be as close as possible even though he wasn’t in the building.
“We are all like brothers,” explained Gordon. “So, it’s good being back. Some of them gave me a hard time, as expected, but it’s all love, man. Some guys might walk into the locker room and it might be different, but the guys, they missed me, it was all the same. It was like I never left.”
Gordon was fined for being away from the team for three games and missing 64 days. It has been reported that he could be fined around $2.5 million, but a team can sometimes waive the fines. Gordon along with the team’s brass settled on a way so both sides could be happy.
"Business is business, football is football," Gordon said. "I've had conversations with Tom (Telesco) during this process; we've talked a few times. He definitely let it be known that he wanted me back, and that he had no problems and he understood from a player's perspective. So that made me feel better about everything."
Gordon doesn’t believe a bridge was burned between he and Telesco. That could be a huge deal after the season if the Bolts want to negotiate a new deal with the running back.
•OUT: WR Mike Williams (OUT), TE Hunter Henry (knee), K Michael Badgley (right groin), TE Virgil Green (groin). Doubtful: WR Travis Benjamin (hip). Questionable: CB Casey Hayward (back), LB Drue Tranquill.