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San Diego Chargers' Melvin Gordon fumbling his big opportunity

By Jay Paris, The Sports Xchange   |   Oct. 22, 2015 at 2:58 AM
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SAN DIEGO -- The numbers for San Diego Chargers rookie running back Melvin Gordon do not lie: four fumbles (three lost), zero touchdowns. After a second fumble on Sunday in Green Bay, he was benched for the final quarter.

That is not exactly how this season was expected to play out for Gordon, who was drafted No. 15 overall this year out of Wisconsin, where he rushed for 2,628 yards last year, only 41 yards short of the FBS record set by Barry Sanders in 1988.

So far this season Gordon carried 78 times for 299 yards and no touchdowns. And then there are those three lost fumbles, two last Sunday.

"If you can't hold on to the ball someone else will," said Gordon, the Chargers' top pick. "It was extremely tough for me to have all my family there and not even play the fourth quarter.

"But you live and you learn and it's a lesson learned. I will be better from here on out."

Gordon didn't practice on Wednesday because of an ankle injury, but should play on Sunday. He is eager to get back on the field.

"To go out there and prove to the coaches I can hold onto the ball and be a factor when I'm out there," he said. "I'm no good when I'm on the sidelines."

--Rookie inside linebacker Denzel Perryman is fresh from his first NFL start and could get another one on Sunday with Manti Te'o still out because of an ankle injury.

"Things went pretty well," Perryman said of starting. "As the game went on, I felt like I had a solid game. I had butterflies and I just had to get the jitters out. After that I was fine."

Perryman, who had a forced fumble on Sunday, continues to push Donald Butler and Te'o for playing time.

--Raider Week is here, but quarterback Philip Rivers said it's significant for another reason.

"It is a big week, and I think it is big, because it is a division game," Rivers said. "I feel the same sense when playing Chiefs and Broncos. ... Division games carry that with it.

"The fact that it is in-state and the fans on this one it gets them going more than some of the others, and that adds to the hype a little bit. But its a big deal because it is a division game."

NOTES: Among those who did not practice Wednesday were wide receiver Keenan Allen (hip flexor), free safety Eric Weddle (groin), right guard D.J. Fluker (ankle), guard/tackle Chris Hairston (ankle), outside linebacker Tourek Williams (foot), and linebacker Manti Te'o (ankle). ... Punter Mike Scifres (injured leg) continued to punt, but was clearly in discomfort. ... Among those re-joining practice after missing time with an injury were center Chris Watt (groin, concussion), left tackle King Dunlap (concussion) and wide receiver Stevie Johnson, but he was limited. ... Safety Adrian Phillips was signed off the practice squad and three players were added to the practice squad -- guard Michael Huey, offensive tackle Andrew McDonald and defensive lineman Chuka Ndulue.

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