Headline: Philip Rivers is “pulling for” Melvin Gordon

Charean Williams
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Philip Rivers practically dared us to give him a headline, so here it is.

In his first public comments about Melvin Gordon‘s contract holdout the Chargers quarterback wants to make it clear to everyone else where their relationship stands. Rivers said Gordon already knows.

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“I know Melvin knows I’m pulling for him,” Rivers said, via Eric Williams of ESPN. “And in saying that, that means you want what’s best for him. You want him to feel great. You him to be at peace with how it all ends, and hopefully it’s right here.

“He knows that. I doubt anything I said will make PFT headlines, but I think those that know me will know that’s what I meant all along.”

Rivers’ comments three weeks ago about the backs behind Gordon were intended as a compliment to Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome, not as a dig at Gordon. But every NFL team has a next-man-up mentality. If a player isn’t in the lineup, for whatever reason, the game doesn’t stop.

Rivers has talked to Gordon and hopes the star running back returns for the start of the season, but the Chargers also have to prepare for Gordon’s absence.

“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 Aug. [15], and everything is OK at this point.”

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