Melvin Gordon reported to the Los Angeles Chargers for the first time all season on Thursday, and he could be playing for the team once again by Sunday. The star running back just ended a holdout that began over the summer, rejoining the Chargers this week after missing the club's first three games of 2019, and Gordon would not make his season debut until Week 5. Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn told reporters Friday, however, "there's a chance" the two-time Pro Bowler will be taking snaps against the Miami Dolphins this Sunday.
With backup running back Justin Jackson ruled out for Week 4 with a foot injury, the Chargers' depth chart would feature just two other backs -- Gordon fill-in Austin Ekeler and undrafted journeyman Troymaine Pope -- if Gordon doesn't play.
"I've said all along there's a chance," Lynn said, per NFL Network. "(Gordon's) looked fine. He's in good shape, but he hasn't been practicing football, so obviously he's not ready to go back in there and carry the load right now, but you never know. He may have to ... We understand that Melvin has been back for a day and a half, so we have to be careful with if he plays, how much he plays, and if he even played."
The Dolphins, of course, don't necessarily represent a formidable opponent for the Chargers on Sunday, having been outscored by 117 points during an 0-3 start. But L.A. is already short on weapons entering the matchup, with wide receivers Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin, as well as tight end Hunter Henry, set to miss Sunday with injuries.
Gordon is currently on the NFL's two-week exempt list, overseen by commissioner Roger Goodell, in the wake of his holdout for a new contract. But as ESPN's Eric D. Williams reported Friday, Gordon will travel with the Chargers to Miami with the potential of being activated for the game.