SAN DIEGO–The San Diego Chargers suffered an atrocious defeat Sunday with their season on the line.
The team came out flat and the typically calm and savvy Philip Rivers threw two interceptions in the first half that both led to scores.
But the most dumbfounding aspect of Sunday’s game was the absence of their first-round pick Melvin Gordon until the third quarter.
Gordon was held out of Wednesday’s practice with a listed ankle injury, but said after practice that he’d be good to go on Sunday. The Chargers worked him out before the game and said that he was ready to go if Mike McCoy wanted him in the game, but giving him limited snaps apparently was already set in the game plan.
“That was our plan going in the game, what were going to do early,” said McCoy. “But the way we got behind, we started doing things in the first half, we put him in.”
Seem unclear? Well it should be. Even Gordon seemed confused about the plan.
“I felt pretty good,” said Gordon. “You’ll have to ask the head coach what their plan was. Maybe he just thought a healthier Bo (Branden Oliver) was what was best for the team. I don’t know.”
This was definitely the toughest press conference for the first-round pick as he held back his frustration as much as he could, but he did vent a little bit.
“I hate watching,” said Gordon. “It doesn’t sit well with me watching my teammates try to go out there and make plays and I’m on the sideline looking helpless, when I know I can help change out there.”
There was some speculation that this was punishment for Gordon’s two fumbles against the Green Bay Packers. Gordon was benched for the remainder of the second half in that game as well.
“We’re trying to win football games,” said McCoy in a subdued fury. “We’re not trying to punish people from week-to-week in a game. We’ve got to win a football game here. That’s what we’re trying to do. Win.”
No matter what the case is, there is no logic in sitting a first-round pick for a half and then putting him into the second half with the team down by 31 points.
And with the Chargers now sitting at 2-5, good for last place in the AFC West, McCoy’s seat is getting hotter by the second.
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