Published September 13, 2015
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Chargers running back Melvin Gordon returned to practice Monday, one day after not working.
But Gordon stressed he isn't hurt.
"Just to get myself back right," he said of his respite.
Gordon, the Chargers' first-round draft pick, didn't look compromised in a run-heavy training camp session. He hit the hole with authority, danced around would-be tacklers and looked every bit the star he was at Wisconsin.
It was third consecutive day in pads for the Chargers, and Gordon was keen about participating.
"It's been good going with the pads," he said. "This is real football, this is the game of football in the NFL. You get some time with the offensive lineman, get in sync. This is what training camp is for."
The Chargers moved up to draft Gordon, a Heisman Trophy finalist, and secure the physical presence his game brings. Gordon didn't shy away from contact Monday, with numerous Chargers taking their best shot.
"I enjoyed it, It was good," he said. "Ain't no way around it; you can't be afraid."
But rookies can look confused. Gordon said his offseason time with the team is paying dividends.
"It helps a lot to be able to come in here and get a good understanding," Gordon said. "It helps you play a little faster. Obviously you still make mistakes in training camp, but you come into training camp a lot more comfortable than you did in OTAs."
Gordon also said the Chargers' rushing attack, which ranked No. 30 last year, is familiar.
"The running game is pretty similar, I'm not going to lie," he said. "The running back routes are pretty similar; the play calling is different."
The Chargers are also putting Gordon out wide in some formations. Gordon said he knows that look from Wisconsin.
"We just never did it on game day," Gordon said. "But I don't mind it. Anyway to help the team and get the ball down the field, I'm for it."
While Gordon returned, left guard Orlando Franklin and center Chris Watt were among the Chargers not practicing.
"We're going to rest a bunch of guys," coach Mike McCoy said.
The Chargers get their first off day Tuesday.
"Take care of your body," McCoy said he told the team after practice. "And you young players, stay in your playbook."