‘Opportunity’ is one big reason why Melvin Gordon signed with Chiefs’ practice squad

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Running back Melvin Gordon had options after the Denver Broncos waived him on Nov. 21 following his fifth fumble of the season.

But the Chiefs provided the most intrigue for the eighth-year pro, so he signed a contract to join Kansas City’s practice squad on Nov. 29.

“Opportunity,” Gordon said. “I knew the situation would be kind of tough coming in at the end of the year, but that’s anywhere. Everybody’s got their guys.

“It’s kind of unfortunate to be let go by a team at the end of the year because now you’re just sitting back and waiting for an opportunity.”

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound back arrived in Kansas City with proven credentials from his time with two teams in the AFC West.

Selected in the first round by the then-San Diego Chargers in the 2015 NFL Draft, the two-time Pro Bowler has rushed for 6,462 yards and 53 touchdowns on 1,567 carries, adding 309 catches for 2,467 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Now he must remain patient and hope an opportunity arises as he toils on the Chiefs’ practice squad. Rookie Isiah Pacheco and veterans Jerick McKinnon and Ronald Jones have been holding down the position while Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) recovers from an injury. Edwards-Helaire is eligible to return from injured reserve in Week 16.

Gordon isn’t likely to play against the Broncos in Week 14, but he’s using this time to absorb the Chiefs’ offensive scheme and impress their coaching staff.

“He’s happy to be here — I’m glad he’s here,” Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. “He’s had an opportunity to watch our guys work. He has a great deal of respect for what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, and he’s just making the most of every opportunity.

“He’s not complaining about anything; he just wants to know what he needs to do. And the thing that we talked about on day one is just making sure he’s busting his tail when he’s out there, and he’s doing a great job of it. He’s a professional.”

He’s only spent a week in the Chiefs’ locker room, but it hasn’t taken Gordon long to fit in with his new teammates. The 29-year-old veteran has even offered some tips to Pacheco, the rookie who has started the past six games, about how to endure the rigors of an NFL season.

“Day in and day out, I just watch (him),” Pacheco said. “He’s a professional and takes care of his body. Those are things I’m picking up from him. Those little things, taking care of the body and staying on it. He made it this far. In this game, it’s very hard to do that.”

Gordon has been impressed by Pacheco’s willingness to ask for advice.

“He’s a sponge,” Gordon said. “You have to be a sponge to last in the league. You can’t act like you know it all. Once you do, that’s when everything starts going downhill.”

Gordon’s 2022 season hasn’t gone the way he envisioned, but he knows he’s in an ideal situation to potentially add another accomplishment to his career resume.

“They have the chance to make the playoffs, somewhere that I haven’t been but once in my career,” he said. “Whether I’m out there or not, I’ll just be ready for my opportunity to show the world that I’m still that guy and that I was just in a bad place at the wrong time.”