Melvin Gordon's holdout could last until late November, when the Los Angeles Chargers running back would have to report to make sure his contract does not toll for this year and he can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, sources told ESPN.
By rule, Gordon would have to show up 30 days prior to the end of the regular season for his contract not to toll, and that would mean he would return to the Chargers sometime before their Dec. 1 game in Denver against the Broncos.
The Chargers made their statement, saying they were pulling their offer from Gordon and tabling contract talks until after the season; now Gordon is making his.
The Chargers always could change their offer and try to lure Gordon back sooner, or Gordon could change his thinking and return before late November as well.
If Gordon were to hold out until the deadline, he would be back with the Chargers for their final five games of the season: at Denver, at Jacksonville, home vs. Minnesota, home vs. Oakland and at Kansas City.
With Gordon unavailable, Austin Ekeler is slated to serve as the starting running back and split time with Justin Jackson. The duo shared time in a similar manner last season, with the Chargers going 4-0 in 2018 with Gordon nursing hamstring and knee injuries.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said this past week that he has not addressed Gordon's status with the team, emphasizing that "it's time to play football" and saying his focus was on Los Angeles' season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Gordon is set to make $5.605 million in 2019 on the fifth-year team option of his rookie deal.
With contract talks at an impasse, the Chargers granted Gordon's representation permission to seek a trade with another team, so he could potentially play elsewhere this season under a new deal if he finds a trade partner.
ESPN's Eric D. Williams contributed to this report.