Despite the San Diego Chargers’ running back practicing Thursday while wearing a full knee brace, the team ruled him out for Sunday’s season finale against the Chiefs. Gordon missed the past two games with hip and knee injuries.
The second-year tailback was just three yards shy of a 1,000-yard rushing season and was hoping to play for pride in a meaningless Week 17 tilt.
Rivers added: “It has been very special to be a San Diego Charger. And I hope that you can always see me as that.”
The Chargers’ quarterback said he considered the possible move to Los Angeles when signing his contract extension in 2015. After 13 years in San Diego, Rivers likely won’t find the same connection in L.A., but he’ll still fight to earn that elusive championship.
This is a sweet, sentimental statement from a franchise quarterback and de facto community leader wistfully paying homage to the city he loved, respected and prepared to live in and raise his family, regardless of a move up the coast.
But while the stats Rivers racked up during 2016 were done so in San Diego, for branding continuity on Sunday in Orlando, the QB will be introduced as a member of the most recent rendition of the team that pays him — the Los Angeles Chargers.
“I had sweaty hands and was nervous before practice,” Rivers said, via the team’s official website. “I was like, ‘What is wrong with me?!’ I’m going into the last minicamp practice in year 14, and here I am nervous before going out there. It was a little bit ridiculous. But it was because of that.”
With the end of minicamp, the Chargers will move up Interstate 5 to Los Angeles, where they will play at StubHub Stadium in Carson, California, until the new stadium is ready in Inglewood.
“I don’t think we’re going to lose everyone in San Diego,” Gordon told ESPN’s James Walker on Friday. “I really don’t think of it like that. I just think of it as we’re on a break — like a relationship. You know? But she’ll be back and we will be back. We will be back together. That’s how I look at it.”
After the team ended a 56-year relationship, Chargers fans understandably were disenchanted, angry and brokenhearted with the team’s decision to move for lack of a stadium deal that would keep them in San Diego.
Many fans swore they would not follow the team elsewhere. Terry Montello said her group will pick a new team to follow if the Chargers leave. There was plenty of anger at ownership throughout the stadium for possibly ending these Sunday habits for good.
Finding out the Chargers might leave was like “Finding out Santa Claus didn’t exist,” according to Sally Morgan, a season-ticket holder since 1994 who moved to San Diego from South Dakota. Many residents feared what would become of their town.