Rivers voices support for Melvin Gordon during holdout

  • By Logan Reardon NFL.com
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Despite his absence, Chargers players have continued to support Melvin Gordon as he seeks a new contract.

Philip Rivers was the latest to speak on behalf of the Pro Bowl running back.

"I know Melvin knows I'm pulling for him," Rivers said after a joint practice with the Saints on Thursday, via ESPN. "And in saying that, that means you want what's best for him. You want him to feel great. You want him to be at peace with how it all ends, and hopefully it's right here. He knows that."

Gordon is scheduled to make $5.6 million this season in the final year of his rookie contract, per Spotrac. The former first-rounder rushed for 10 touchdowns in just 12 games last season, but the Chargers went 4-0 in the games he missed due to injury.

"It certainly is a deep position for us and those guys all love to play and work hard," Rivers said of the Chargers' running back depth three weeks ago. "So, you know like I said, we love Melvin, but we're going to go with what we got. It's a pretty dang good group."

The group includes Justin Jackson and Austin Ekeler, who enter their second and third seasons, respectively. One of the two scored in three of the four games Gordon missed.

Ekeler has had multiple rushing and receiving touchdowns in each of the past two seasons and Jackson's biggest games came vs. the Steelers and Chiefs (121 combined rushing yards, two touchdowns).

"If he's not here, we've got to go, and I think that's what I was saying three weeks ago," Rivers said. "We do have good players here at that position, and so we've got to go.

"Are we better with Melvin? Heck yeah we are. So hopefully we have him, in addition to these other guys, and then it will be one of the saltiest running back groups around. Again, I'm in no place to speak for the organization, but I know no player is in a panic right now. We want to support him. We wish he was here, but we know it's August and everything is OK at this point."