Melvin Gordon on Struggles After Holdout: I'll Never Miss a Training Camp Again

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIOctober 22, 2019

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 06:  Melvin Gordon #25 of the Los Angeles Chargers comes out of the backfield during a 20-13 loss to the Denver Broncos at Dignity Health Sports Park on October 06, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Melvin Gordon III didn't get what he wanted by holding out from the Los Angeles Chargers through Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season, but he did learn something.   

"I know I won't miss another training camp again, I can tell you that," Gordon said Monday, according to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. "But if I was to go back, I can't say. Just with the running back thing and all that, we want to get paid, you know. I don't know. That's tough."

Gordon returned to the Chargers without the new deal he was seeking, and the 26-year-old may be losing himself future money given the way he has performed since coming back.

The two-time Pro Bowler played for the first time in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos, and L.A. is 0-3 since his arrival. Most recently, the Chargers lost 23-20 to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, and Gordon fumbled at the Tennessee 1-yard line with 19 seconds left to seal the Titans' victory.

Overall, the 15th overall pick from the 2015 NFL draft has just 81 yards and no touchdowns on 36 carries, as well as 34 yards and one score on nine catches.

Gordon expanded on the pressure he has felt because of his decision to skip training camp:

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"Missing training camp and not being here, every play you want to be perfect. I missed four games, whatever the case may be, and it's like you want to come out here and you want to show your teammates, 'I'm still the guy. I'm that guy. I could do this. I could put the team on my back,' and things like that. So when you go out there and you don't make a play, it's not that they feel different, but it's just a pride thing."

In Gordon's absence, Austin Ekeler took over. The 24-year-old has only 13 carries for 28 yards since Gordon rejoined the backfield after having 56 for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the first four outings.

Head coach Anthony Lynn's decision to immediately make Gordon the primary back has drawn criticism:

From an individual perspective, Gordon wanted his holdout to conclude the way Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's did. Elliott became the highest-paid player at the position with a six-year, $90 million extension days before the regular season began.

Gordon, who posted 885 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground last year, had much more leverage during his holdout than he does now, and he didn't get what he was requesting. Unless he kicks into another gear, the odds will be even less in his favor once he becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season.

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