Running back Melvin Gordon was absent Thursday when the Los Angeles Chargers conducted their first training camp practice of 2019.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection 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. Gordon is subject to fines of $40,000 per day missed of camp under terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
“We don’t like to talk about players that aren’t here,” coach Anthony Lynn said after the approximately two-hour practice at Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa.
“We understand his situation. We love Melvin. We’re a good football team with Melvin, but he’s not here.”
Lynn said he did not think Gordon’s absence will be a distraction.
Also missing the practice was offensive tackle Russell Okung, who disclosed Thursday on Twitter that he suffered a pulmonary embolism caused by blood clots in June.
“After experiencing unusual chest pain at practice June 1, I went to urgent care out of an abundance of caution,” Okung wrote. “According to the doctors who treated me, the decision to do so likely saved my life.”
Okung wrote that he is “feeling great physically.”
“As soon as doctors clear me, my plans include blocking #17’s blind side all the way to Miami,” Okung wrote, referring to quarterback Philip Rivers and the site of February’s Super Bowl.
Okung is at training camp, attending meetings and “helping with the young guys,” Lynn said.
Lynn said he thought the Chargers had a good practice Thursday.
`I didn’t want to go zero to 100 on the first day back, so we kind of eased our way into it,” Lynn said. “Friday (Friday), we’ll be full-go. I’m just trying to keep everybody healthy and give them a chance to make this football team.”