Melvin Gordon ended his holdout on Thursday, and on Sunday, he’ll suit up for limited snaps against the Miami Dolphins.
On Thursday, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon ended the holdout that began during training camp. With no new deal — if one comes from the Chargers, it won’t be until after the season — and no legitimate trade partners surfacing, and the team facing a 1-2 record to start the year, Gordon felt he had no choice but to make his return now.
Initially, it wasn’t expected that Gordon would be active against the Miami Dolphins in Week 4, given how long he’s spent away from football. But the Chargers have decided to allow him to suit up on Sunday. According to USA Today‘s Mike Jones, Gordon will play, “on a limited snap count.”
Hours later on Saturday, the Chargers seemingly confirmed this report by placing Gordon on their active, 53-man roster.
While Austin Ekeler will remain the Chargers’ No. 1 running back for the Miami game, Gordon should get a handful of touches, perhaps up to 10. Justin Jackson will also see action while Gordon’s snaps are managed in his regular-season debut.
The risk versus the reward seems to be one the Chargers are willing to balance. It could be easy to argue, however, that there’s no need for Gordon to play in this particular game. The Dolphins are winless, possibly actively tanking and are 14.5-point home underdogs.
But on the other hand, such a (relatively) low-stakes game for the Chargers could be the perfect time to warm Gordon up and to ease him into the typical double-digit carries he’s averaged over the course of his career. The Chargers aren’t in a situation in which Gordon’s presence will be what makes the difference in a hotly-contested game.
Still, it is somewhat of a surprise that the Chargers will have Gordon active and participating on Sunday, given it will be just four days after his return to the team. But he needs to get ready for a full workload, so giving him limited touches against the Dolphins will get him on track more quickly.