The Los Angeles Chargers have one of the deepest, most versatile rosters in the league. Right now, though, that roster is working without quite a few players. Star safety Derwin James is injured. So is left tackle Russell Okung. And of course, starting running back Melvin Gordon is holding out in hopes of securing a contract extension.
The latest reports on the situation make it seem likely that Gordondue to the holdout, a result that Chargers GM Tom Telesco is not thrilled about. Speaking to reporters at the team's preseason finale on Thursday, Telesco noted that he prides himself on finding solutions to problems, but that he does not have a solution to this one.
Tom Telesco on Melvin Gordon holdout: "I'm disappointed it has lasted this long. I pride myself in having solutions to problems, and I haven't solved this one yet. We know what he means to our team, and even bigger than that what he means to our organization (Continued)— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) August 30, 2019
... But the other side is we have a big game coming up this week with the Colts, and I'm confident in the players that we have on the field right now will play well."— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) August 30, 2019
The Chargers have excellent depth at running back with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson working behind Gordon, and none other than Philip Rivers has indicated that the team can get by without Gordon due to the presence of those players. The Chargers have shown in the past they are willing to hold the line on all kinds of contract talks, and it would not be surprising if this situation lingered for a while longer.
The Chargers' early-season schedule got a bit easier with the retirement of Andrew Luck, and their Colts-Lions-Texans-Dolphins start to the year is now likely among the easier slates in the league. If they can get off to a hot start despite Gordon's absence, that might pressure the running back to return to the fold and prove how valuable he is, but if they struggle out of the gate, perhaps the Chargers will budge on their end of things.