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FFL: Playoff Week 8 | NFL: Superbowl

Gordon on why he returned to Chargers this week: "We're 1-2"

Fri Sep 27 5:49pm ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer

Players: Virgil Green, Travis Benjamin, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Justin Jackson, Michael Badgley, Detrez Newsome

In this Dec. 30, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon rushes during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Denver. A person familiar with the situation says Gordon will end his holdout and report to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday, Sept. 26. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because he wasn't at liberty to publicly discuss the situation. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)


COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) Melvin Gordon would likely be continuing his holdout if the Los Angeles Chargers had gotten off to a 3-0 start. But with the Bolts on a two-game losing streak after winning their opener, the running back decided this week was the best time to report.

''We're 1-2. You don't want to get into a big hole,'' Gordon said after Friday's practice. ''You work the whole offseason to be in a good position to make the playoffs. I had to come back at some point. I want to come back and help contribute. When we lost again (last Sunday to Houston) I wasn't feeling this at all. These guys did nothing to me.''

Gordon's return might not have come at a better time. The Chargers are hampered by injuries going into Sunday's game at Miami.

Coach Anthony Lynn is hoping he doesn't have to use Gordon this week, but he might not have any choice. Running back Justin Jackson, who was averaging 20 plays per game during Gordon's holdout, will not play after suffering a calf injury Thursday. Gordon is on a two-week roster exemption but could be activated after Saturday's practice. If Gordon doesn't play, the Chargers would likely sign Detrez Newsome from the practice squad.

Lynn said Gordon's fitness level looks great, but that the past couple of days have been spent on the finer points such as position alignment.

''We really had to drill those today and try to get him back into shape mentally for the position,'' Lynn said. ''He hasn't made a cut and had to break a tackle. We tried to put him through the gauntlet in practice to simulate hitting. It's still not real football. Ideally, you don't want to play the guy this week.''

Gordon held out because he was seeking a contract of $13 million to $14.4 million per season, which was equivalent to deals signed by Todd Gurley, David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell. The Chargers offered around $10 million per year before suspending negotiations prior to the start of the regular season.

His base salary for this season is $5.6 million under the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. Gordon was subject to $1.2 million worth of fines along with losing $988,236 for missing the first three games, but he said the team cut the fines in half.

Gordon said he understood the consequences of sitting out and that he was the reason he held out despite his agents advising him to come in.

''Nothing came out of it, so I try not to think about it,'' he said. ''Obviously, there is no contract, so it's obviously something I don't want to speak on. ... To think the fines would be completely washed away, I knew if I got in this situation, it wouldn't be. You do something against the rules, you pay the consequences.''

Gordon also said he talked to general manager Tom Telesco throughout the process and that his relationship with the front office remains good.

''I don't think the bridges are burned, we just had some differences,'' Gordon said. ''He (Telesco) let it be known he wanted me back. He had no problems and understood from a player's perspective.''

Gordon has gained over 1,200 yards from scrimmage and scored 10 or more touchdowns in three straight seasons but has had his struggles against Miami. He is averaging only 2.6 yards per carry and has one touchdown in three games against the Dolphins.

NOTES: Wide receiver Mike Williams (back), tight ends Virgil Green (groin) and Hunter Henry (knee) and kicker Michael Badgley (groin) are out for Sunday's game while wide receiver Travis Benjamin (hip) is doubtful.

Player Notes
Drew Brees Jan 24 3:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who will be a free agent in March, plans to return to the Saints if he comes back for a 20th season in the NFL. "I have never been in the situation where I was mulling over the thought of [returning]," Brees said. "To me, each one of these contracts, I don't know how many it's been with the Saints, I've played with them 14 years, it's not a matter of if it gets done, it's when. At this stage of my career, it's not a given that I'm coming back every year, but when that time comes, I'll always be a Saint." Despite diminished arm strength, Brees was one of the best quarterbacks when he returned from his thumb injury last season. He may no longer have sky-high QB1 upside for fantasy owners, but Brees will at least be a midrange QB1 target next season if he returns to New Orleans, which is what is expected.

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Kareem Hunt Jan 24 1:30pm ET

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt was pulled over and cited during a traffic stop in Rocky River, Ohio on Tuesday. Police pulled Hunt over for going 77 MPH in a 60 MPH zone and found small amounts of marijuana in three different locations in the car. The car was registered in Hunt's mother's name and he told officers that the drugs belonged to his brother. While the running back did not receive a drug charge during the stop, he could still be subject to discipline from the NFL. Hunt is a restricted free agent this offseason and has a chance to land elsewhere as a team's starting running back. This incident is only likely to be an issue in fantasy if the NFL decides to get involved.

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Travis Kelce Jan 24 1:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (knee) was back at practice on Friday. The Chiefs played it safe with Kelce and gave him some rest on Thursday, but he should be ready to rock in the Super Bowl against the 49ers on Feb. 2. He had a quiet game in the AFC Championship against the Titans but exploded for three touchdowns in the Divisional Round. Kelce was the top fantasy tight end in 2019 and could put up big numbers in the passing game against San Francisco in the Super Bowl if this game turns into a shootout.

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Jimmy Graham Jan 24 1:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said it's his understanding that tight end Jimmy Graham wants to play in 2020. Graham is under contract for one more year for $8 million, which is the final year of his three-year contract. The 33-year-old has clearly lost a step at this point in his career, catching just 38 passes (60 targets) for 447 yards and three touchdowns in 2019 with the Packers. He's no longer the focal point in the passing game, and he's more of a low-end, touchdown-dependent TE2 in fantasy circles.

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Antonio Brown Jan 24 12:00pm ET

Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown was granted bail by a Broward County judge on Friday morning at $110,000 for a felony burglary with battery charge. Brown will be monitored by GPS and be required to release his passport and guns, go through drug and alcohol testing and get a mental-health evaluation. He's facing charges of felony burglary with battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief stemming from an alleged assault of a moving-truck driver earlier this week. This isn't Brown's first run-in with the law, and all of his off-field issues virtually assure that no NFL team will take a chance on him moving forward.

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Jerry Hughes Jan 24 12:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (wrist) had surgery to fix torn ligaments in his wrist. Hughes revealed the injury after the playoff loss to the Texans in the wild-card round, and the league launched an investigation as to whether the Bills had violated the injury reporting policy since Hughes never appeared on the team's injury report with a wrist injury. Despite his wrist injury, Hughes didn't miss a game in 2019 and hasn't missed a single game since 2012. He recorded 23 total tackles (14 solo), 4.5 sacks and one fumble recovery for Buffalo's stout defense last season. Hughes should be recovered in time for training camp this summer.

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Jerry Hughes Jan 24 8:43am ET

Buffalo Bills DE Jerry Hughes (wrist) had surgery to repair torn ligaments in his wrist this week.

From TheHuddle

Josh Rosen Jan 23 9:43pm ET

Miami Dolphins QB Josh Rosen hasn't been written off, according to general manager Chris Grier, and Grier said he saw improvement in Rosen during practice throughout the year.

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Antonio Brown Jan 23 8:03pm ET

Free-agent WR Antonio Brown (Patriots) is expected to turn himself in to police but hadn't done so as of the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 23, according to a public information officer for the Hollywood Police Department in Florida. 'I believe they've given him ample opportunity to turn himself in,'' Christian Lata told USA TODAY Sports. An arrest warrant was issued against Brown following an incident with a moving truck driver Tuesday, Jan. 21. 'I'm sure it's going to be within today or tomorrow, but I'm not sure exactly when,'' Lata said late Thursday afternoon. 'I would assume it would be sooner than later.''

Fantasy Spin: There's less and less reason to hold out hope of Brown finding his way onto an NFL roster and becoming fantasy relevant in 2020. Dynasty owners should be looking to move on.

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Fantasy Spin: Coleman did some solo work as he recovers from a dislocated shoulder. Expect him to play in Super Bowl LIV Sunday, Feb. 2.

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Fantasy Spin: Kelce and the Chiefs have a long way to go until Super Bowl LIV Sunday, Feb. 2. He should be fully expected to be on the field.

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Demarcus Robinson Jan 23 6:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs WR Demarcus Robinson (illness) returned to a full practice Thursday, Jan. 23.

Fantasy Spin: Robinson has scored just one touchdown since Week 3, and he hasn't recorded 100 or more receiving yards since Week 2. He's a risky flier without a guaranteed role in the offense.

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Tevin Coleman Jan 23 5:33pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) was seen running on a side field ahead of the team's practice Thursday, Jan. 23.

Fantasy Spin: It appears Coleman will be able to suit up for Super Bowl LIV after dislocating his shoulder in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers. He'll continue splitting work with Raheem Mostert and, to a lesser degree, Matt Breida. Any or all of the three could have a big game, but it's Mostert with the hot hand following the NFC Championship.

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Gareon Conley Jan 23 5:23pm ET

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Nevin Lawson Jan 23 5:03pm ET

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