Melvin Gordon is officially in a holdout status, but Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said no ill will has developed between the two sides after he informed the team that he will not report for the start of training camp, according to ESPN's Eric D. Williams.
"I love Melvin Gordon," Telesco said. "He's an excellent player. He's tough. He has a great work ethic and represents our organization extremely well. But he's not here.
"I understand his thoughts and opinions of what he's going through," he added. "I always look at the player's side, so I can see it. It doesn't mean I agree with it, but I can kind of see what his thought process is."
The Chargers started camp on Wednesday in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Gordon has been seeking a new contract and is scheduled to make $5.6 million in 2019, which is the final season of his five-year rookie deal. Telesco said the Chargers offered Gordon a new contract but have decided to rely on Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome until a new deal is agreed upon.
"I'm not naïve: I know we're better with Melvin Gordon," Telesco said. "But we've got a strong group of guys that are here, and it's their time to work and get ready to go."
The 26-year-old Gordon has led the Chargers in rushing for three straight seasons. In 2018, Gordon rushed for 885 yards in 12 games and also had 490 receiving yards while scoring 14 total touchdowns.
Gordon's agent basically made good on his threat to have his client hold out without a new deal, and also has said that Gordon will demand a trade.
Without Gordon in camp, Ekeler and Jackson are next in line to grab a majority of the snaps.
The Chargers' first preseason game is Aug. 8 against the Arizona Cardinals.