COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Running back Melvin Gordon will end his holdout and report to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because he wasn’t at liberty to publicly discuss the situation. The running back has been absent since the start of training camp due to a contract dispute.
Gordon is not expected to play Sunday when the Chargers (1-2) travel to Miami (0-3). Los Angeles’ next two games after the Dolphins are at home against Denver and Pittsburgh.
“I don’t think you walk in camp and just play right away. You can run and do all the drills you want but it is hard to simulate real football,” coach Anthony Lynn said before practice Wednesday.
Gordon was slated to make $5.6 million on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. That amount decreased by approximately $329,412 for each game he misses. Gordon also is subject to fines of up to $40,000 under the collective-bargaining agreement for each day he missed training camp.
General manager Tom Telesco suspended contract talks with Gordon’s agents until after the season. Gordon was seeking an extension of $13 million to $14.4 million per season, which was equivalent to deals signed by Todd Gurley, David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell. The Chargers offered around $10 million per year.
Gordon has gained over 1,200 yards from scrimmage and scored 10 or more touchdowns in three straight seasons, but the Chargers offense has not sputtered in his absence. Austin Ekeler leads AFC running backs in yards from scrimmage and Justin Jackson is averaging 7.9 yards per carry.
Chargers running backs are averaging 5.4 yards per carry, which is third best in the league and over a yard more than the NFL average.
Quarterback Philip Rivers said he has not talked to Gordon for a little while and that it would be up to Lynn on how to handle his return.
“I know it would be good to see him,” Rivers said.