Brian Golden

Brian Golden

Melvin Gordon should have been camped on the doorstep of the Los Angeles Chargers’ HOAG Performance Center headquarters in Costa Mesa when it opened Monday morning.

The Chargers’ holdout tailback should have had his hat in hand, apologizing for turning his back on his teammates and asking to be part of what could be a very special season in Carson.

Because the Men of the Lightning Bolt demonstrated in their 60th anniversary season opener Sunday that they can do very well without him.

They’re now 5-0 in the games he has missed the past two seasons.

Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson demonstrated they can add up to more than one Melvin Gordon in the 30-24 overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Gordon’s erstwhile backups combined to rush for 125 yards, including Ekeler’s seven-yard touchdown slash to the end zone in overtime.

Ekeler gained 58 yards, Jackson 57.

To a man in the Chargers clubhouse, they all want Melvin back.

But if he persists in this me-first selfishness, they’re not going to let it detract from their most promising season since the betrayal of San Diego in 2017.

On NFL Network Sunday the greatest Charger of them all, Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson, said Gordon should still get paid what he wants.

He hypothesized that the Chargers’ inability to put Indianapolis away with a 24-9 lead was due to Gordon not being available to pound the Colts and the clock with a withering running game.

L-T declared that Gordon is one of the five best backs in the game.

That got us to thinking.

Gordon belongs in the company of Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys, Todd Gurley II of the Rams, Saquon Barkley of the Giants, Alvin Kamara of the Saints, Christian McCaffrey of the Panthers, David Johnson of the Cardinals and Kareem Hunt of the Browns?

Oops.

That’s seven backs who are better than Gordon right now. 

And the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook, the NFL Rookie of the Year-to-be Josh Jacobs of Oakland, the Colts’ Marlon Mack and the Titans’ Derrick Henry all have a head start on Gordon for crashing that party.

Every time Gordon and his representatives discuss their ridiculous contract demand numbers, remind them of these numbers:

Seven carries, 17 yards.

That was Gordon’s superstar contribution to another New England Patriots humiliation of the Chargers in the playoffs last January.

Now that the Bolts have learned now to win on opening day, they can get off to the kind of fast start that won’t require sweating December playoff bookkeeping.

There’s an unmistakable buzz about these Chargers, and where they could be headed.

Melvin Gordon should he headed back to work. ASAP.

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