Running back Melvin Gordon was absent Thursday when the Los Angeles Chargers conducted their first training camp practice of 2019.
Gordon did not report to training camp by Wednesday’s deadline and was placed on the reserve/did not report list. He is in the last year of his contract, a fifth-year option worth $5.6 million. Gordon is seeking a new contract and will demand a trade if he does not receive one, his agent Fletcher Smith told ESPN.
“I want to end up with the Chargers,” the two-time Pro Bowl selection said this month at SportsCon, a sports convention in Dallas. “I mean, that’s my home. I’m not going to sit here and be like, I don’t want to go back to the Chargers. That’s the team who blessed me with an opportunity. They changed my life. Out of all 32 teams, that was the team that called. I can’t forget them for that.
“But like I said, it’s an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. I want to get paid. And that’s just kind of what it is. Hopefully I end up a Charger, that’s the goal. I want to end as a Charger.”
The Chargers also placed offensive tackle Russell Okung on the non-football injury list and linebacker Jatavis Brown on physically unable to perform list because of an ankle injury suffered in the 2018 regular-season finale against Denver. They also announced the signing of undrafted rookie running back Derrick Gore from Louisiana-Monroe.
Okung started dealing with a “pretty serious medical issue” in early June and could miss all of training camp, general manager Tom Telesco said.
Thursday’s practice is the first of 13 at Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa open to the public. All but one of the practices open to the public will be conducted from 10 a.m. to noon. The Chargers will conduct their first night training camp practice since returning to Los Angeles in 2017 on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m.
Fans may pre-register for free training camp tickets at chargers.com/camp for the days they plan to attend or register in person at the entrance to Jack Hammett Sports Complex. All bleacher seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Bleacher seating at the complex will be completely covered for the first time.
Parking is available for $10 at the OC Fair and Events Center off Arlington Drive. Parking is valid for the entire day should fans wish to attend the OC Fair after practice. There will be a dedicated location for rideshare service drop-off and pick-up adjacent to the sports complex.
Gates will open one hour before the start of each practice session.
Joint practices will be held with the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 1 and the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 15-16. The Chargers will also conduct a joint practice with the Rams on Aug. 3 at their training camp at UC Irvine.
New features for training camp include opportunities to learn more about the team’s new stadium in Inglewood through a virtual reality tour of the stadium, seeing previously unreleased renderings and sampling food scheduled to be available at the stadium when it opens in 2020.
Throughout training camp, fans will be able to greet players in the “Hi-Five Zone” prior to practice, receive autographs from players after practice and meet the Charger Girls dancers and former players.
Other training camp attractions include interactive games, face painting and special photo opportunities.
Active-duty military members and veterans can enter a drawing at the Community Tent to win tickets to the Chargers’ Aug. 24 preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. Youth and high school football players attending training camp on Monday can enter a drawing at the Community Tent to win tickets to the same game.
School supply drives benefitting students from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America will be held Saturday and Sunday. A blood drive will be held Aug. 1. Dogs from Priceless Pet Rescue will be available for adoption Aug. 4.
Game-issued jerseys and other team paraphernalia will be available for purchase Aug. 15-16 with proceeds benefitting the Chargers Community Foundation.
Fans may bring their own food, water and soft drinks. Alcoholic beverages may not be brought into Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Smoking is not allowed at Chargers training camp. Fans may bring personal cameras and cell phones, but video cameras and telephoto lenses longer than six inches are not allowed.
Other items not permitted at Jack Hammett Sports Complex include pets (other than service animals), weapons of any kind, water guns, fireworks, Frisbee discs and other flying discs, sports balls, beach balls or other inflatable objects, laser pointers, flammable objects, musical instruments or noise-making devices.
The practices open to the public will be conducted July 25-30, Aug. 1, 4, 10-12 and 15-16.
The Chargers were 12-4 in 2018, matching the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC’s best record. However, Kansas City won the AFC West title on the basis of a better record in division play.
The Chargers qualified for the playoffs as a wild-card team. They defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 23-17 in a wild-card playoff game, their first postseason appearance and victory since the 2013 season.
The Chargers season ended with a 41-28 loss to the eventual Super Bowl LIII champion New England Patriots in a divisional playoff game.
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