NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos acknowledge a crowd of fans. Photo by Chris Stone

A crowd estimated by the team at more than 5,000 watched the Chargers first training camp practice since their return to Los Angeles after a 56-season absence Sunday in Costa Mesa.

The crowd included four fans who received help climbing over a fence from receiver Keenan Allen.

Quarterback Philip Rivers called the turnout awesome.

“We’re very appreciative for how we’ve been welcomed here,” Rivers said. “We’re fired up about continuing to earn that trust and respect.”

Fans had the opportunity to reserve seating passes for the grandstand bleachers at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex, but the supply was exhausted Saturday, forcing some fans to stand for the two-hour practice.

First-year coach Anthony Lynn said his team “did a good job with their assignments and communications.”

“Some guys looked even faster because they know what they’re doing now,” Lynn said. “Right now we’re just trying to get out of the huddle and communicate.”

Lynn said he is looking forward to the third practice of training camp, which will be held Tuesday, when the players will be wearing shoulder pads and he and his staff can properly evaluate them.

When “we get the pads on, we can see who’s making plays and who’s not,” said Lynn, who replaced Mike McCoy, who was fired after the team went 5- 11 in 2016 and 4-12 in 2015.

Cornerback Jason Verrett, who was placed on the physically unable to perform list Saturday, “is on track to be back in a couple of weeks,” Lynn said. Safety Darrell Stuckey, who was also placed on the physically unable to perform list Saturday, “is still trying to be cleared by the doctors.”

Verrett was sidelined for the final 12 games of the 2016 season because of a partially torn ACL he was unable to pinpoint when it occurred. Stuckey suffered a knee injury in Chargers final game of the 2016 season.

Verrett was the Chargers Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and played in the Pro Bowl following the season. Stuckey was the Chargers Special Teams Player of the Year in 2013, 2015 and 2016 and played in the Pro Bowl following the 2014 season.

Players on the physically unable to perform list count against the 90- player roster limit. They can be activated any time.

No seating passes remain for Monday’s practice, but  passes remain available for 10 of the other 11 practices at the complex open to the public, including Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, all set to run from 10 a.m.-noon. Reservations can be made at

The Chargers announced in January they would return to Los Angeles, where they played their inaugural 1960 season, from San Diego, where they played from 1961-2016. They will play at StubHub Center, then join the Los Angeles Rams in a stadium in Inglewood set to open in 2020.

The Chargers also held their 1960 training camp in Orange County at the then-Chapman College in Orange.

Their 1960 roster included Ron Mix, an offensive lineman selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, and quarterback Jack Kemp, later a congressman from New York state, Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary in the George H.W. Bush administration and 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee.

The 1960 Chargers, coached by Sid Gillman, also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, won the American Football League’s Western Division with a league-best-equaling 10-4 record, then lost to the Houston Oilers, 24-16, in the league’s championship game.

—City News Service

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