Philip Rivers ‘loves’ Melvin Gordon, but Chargers seem content with ‘deep’ running back group

Philip Rivers ‘loves’ Melvin Gordon, but Chargers seem content with ‘deep’ running back group

There’s no question the Chargers want stud running back Melvin Gordon with the rest of the team for training camp. But even without the dynamic playmaker, the team feels “pretty dang good” about its collection of ball carriers.

Gordon, 26, wants an extension from Los Angeles and was placed on the reserve/did not report list Wednesday after he did not arrive at training camp. His absence from camp was the top storyline on Day 1 for the Chargers, but quarterback Philip Rivers assured reporters that both he and the rest of the organization likes the group poised to step in for Gordon.

“They’re going to get a lot more work,” Rivers said Thursday. “It certainly is a deep position for us, and those guys all love to play and work hard. We love Melvin, but we’re going to go with what we’ve got. It’s a pretty dang good group.”

The Chargers selected Gordon out of Wisconsin with the No. 15 pick in the 2015 draft. He has rushed for 3,628 yards and scored 38 total touchdowns during his four-year career.

But Chargers general manager Tom Telesco has a similar stance as his veteran quarterback.

“We’re lucky that we got a strong running back group of guys that we’ve seen play before,” Telesco said earlier this week (via the Southern California News Group). “I’m not naive. I know we’re better with Melvin Gordon, but we have a strong group of guys that are here.”

Austin Ekeler is now the lead back for the Chargers with second-year players Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome and rookie Derrick Gore behind him.

Ekeler has proven effective at times for L.A. with 958 total yards and six touchdowns (three rushing, three receiving) last season, while Jackson had limited opportunity (50 carries for 206 yards rushing and two touchdowns).