By Nick Shook
Read full post on NFL.com
Sometimes, the first one is the most difficult — and most important.
The first jumper made for a struggling shooter in basketball. The first hit for a slumping batter in baseball.
Or, in the case of Melvin Gordon, the first touchdown.
Gordon found pay dirt for the first time since the 2015 Outback Bowl with a 44-yard touchdown reception in a preseason loss to theTennessee Titans on Saturday. It’s preseason, so it doesn’t count toward his career totals, but one would be foolish to dismiss the importance of again finding the end zone after such a drought, one that lasted 590 days.
“You kind of never know what you’re going to do,” Gordon said of his reaction after scoring, via The San Diego Union-Tribune. “You see me yelling. It’s just so much emotion. You’re out here grinding in camp. You’re out here grinding in the offseason. Then when you help the team and get points on the board, that’s when it all comes out. … I was just ecstatic about it, and obviously, a lot of energy came out with it.”
In the time between touchdowns, Gordon was selected in the first round of the NFL draft, carried the ball 184 times (for 641 yards), fumbled six times (lost four), had microfracture surgery on his knee and heard endless amounts of criticism for his underwhelming rookie campaign. Stack all of that up and then watch the highlight, and you can almost feel Gordon release his frustration as he bowled overRashad Johnson into the end zone.
Maybe, quite possibly for the first time since becoming a Charger, Gordon can breathe easy.
If Gordon (and the offensive line, which was ravaged by injuries in 2015) can remain healthy and become a cohesive unit, this should be a preview of more to come.