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Melvin Gordon returns to practice, says he's fine

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After taking a day off on Sunday to decompress first-round draft pick Melvin Gordon was back on the practice field for the San Diego Chargers on Monday. AP Photo/Gregory Bull

SAN DIEGO -- Melvin Gordon told reporters he needed a day "just to get myself back right," returning to practice on Monday for Day 5 of the San Diego Chargers' training camp.

Gordon said he feels fine. He joined the rest of his teammates in San Diego's third straight workout in full pads. The Chargers are scheduled for an off day on Tuesday.

"It's been good going with the pads," Gordon said. "This is real football. This is the game of football in the NFL. You get some time with the offensive linemen and get in sync. This is what training camp is for."

While Gordon returned to practice, several San Diego players remain on the sidelines nursing various injuries.

San Diego's three projected starters in the interior of the offensive line -- left guard Orlando Franklin, center Chris Watt and right guard Johnnie Troutman -- did not practice. In their place, Kenny Wiggins worked at left guard, Trevor Robinson at center and Joe Barksdale at right guard with the first team.

Along with those three, defensive end Ricardo Mathews, and cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Patrick Robinson did not practice for the Chargers. Steve Williams worked at left cornerback with Flowers out, while Chris Davis served as the nickel cornerback in place of Robinson with the starting defense.

After five straight days of practice, McCoy said he wants to make sure the players use their day off on Tuesday wisely.

"You get some time off, but be smart," he said. "There's nothing wrong with getting away from it for day. Just do the right thing and take care of your body."

Barksdale shines: With Franklin and Troutman out, free agent addition Barksdale worked at right guard with the starters for the last two days. He’s performed well, both in run blocking and pass protection, which has not gone unnoticed by McCoy. Barksdale has played both guard and tackle so far in training camp.

"He's done an outstanding job," McCoy said. "I think that he made some mistakes during the offseason program. And that's the great thing about doing that because that's going to happen. We weren't going to hold back. We had plenty of walk-throughs, and he's made the most of his opportunities."

Chargers getting chippy: Players generally start to get on each other's nerves a week into training camp, which can lead to some altercations. And that happened on Monday, as the Chargers had a couple flare ups, including Danny Woodhead taking down Davis during team drills and Wiggins getting into it with linebacker Nick Dzubnar during a 9-on-7 running drill.

"We ran the ball a lot today, so that's going to happen," McCoy said. "Guys are starting to get a little tired, and they get sick of one another. They're playing against the same guy, and things will happen."

Get ready for powder blue jerseys: The Chargers will wear the team's throwback, powder blue jerseys on Oct. 25 against the Oakland Raiders and Nov. 22 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Both games are at Qualcomm Stadium. LaDainian Tomlinson's No. 21 will be retired at halftime of the Kansas City game. The Chargers are 15-13 since first wearing the team's alternate jerseys in 1994.