Melvin Gordon might have been the Chargers’ first-round pick, but he won’t necessarily be the only ballcarrier in the San Diego backfield. “As Coach has always said, it’s a running back by committee crew,” quarterback Philip Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s going to be a team effort in that bunch. We’re going to need all of them to carry the load in the run game and catch the ball out of the backfield.” Gordon has underwhelmed thus far this preseason, with a 2.2 yards per carry average—opening the door for Danny Woodhead to carve out a larger share of the workload than the third-down work he was initially slated for.
- Be sure to check out “10 Stats That Matter From Week Three of the Pre-Season.”
In the “you’re asking for trouble” department, the Titans will apparently start Marcus Mariota in the preseason finale tonight. This isn’t necessarily official, but the Tennessean is reporting that Mariota is expected to start the game along with the rest of the Titans’ first-team offense. Draw your own conclusions here, but if something happens to the franchise quarterback facing a bunch of guys fighting for the bottom spots on an NFL roster Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt is going to look pretty foolish.
Oh yeah, some guy named Tom Brady will be available to the Patriots when the season kicks off a week from tonight. The NFL may still appeal, but nothing will happen soon enough for Brady to miss the opener. The Patriots will still be fined $1 million and give up their first-round pick next year, but in the eyes of the legal system Brady did nothing wrong. And with that Deflategate finally, mercifully moves to the back pages and sidebars of the sports section. Hopefully. Please.
Finally, after tonight the games start to count. One week until real football, but in the interim we’ll get to check out the following: Atlanta rookie running back Tevin Coleman, who could see extended carries with named starter Devonta Freeman sitting out; Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, making the conversion from quarterback and looking to stick with Cleveland as a potential playmaker; and Broncos running back Montee Ball, who may be auditioning for a significant role with another team as opposed to a backup gig in Denver.