Melvin Ingram has not been practicing for the LA Chargers.
LA Chargers training camp is officially underway and there is a notable exclusion from the practices. Pro Bowl defensive end Melvin Ingram did not report to the first training camp practice on Friday and still has not reported to practice.
According to The Athletic‘s Daniel Popper, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn refused to comment on Friday on why Ingram is not practicing, calling it a company matter. Lynn reiterated that same point at Monday’s practice.
The speculation has since kicked up. The common consensus, at least seemingly based on how Charger fans are responding to the news on Twitter, is that Ingram is holding out for a new contract. Ingram is a free agent after this season and Charger fans are all-too-familiar with holdouts in training camp.
Plus, Joey Bosa just got his massive five-year extension, which gave him the most guaranteed money a defensive player has ever gotten as well as the highest average annual salary. Ingram, who has been one-half of that explosive duo, might see that and want his cut.
Whether or not Ingram is worth re-signing and how much he would be worth is subjective and is something that the LA Chargers have to evaluate. There is nothing wrong with fans letting their voices be heard in that regard, however, we should not be so quick to judge Ingram’s character because of these two missed practices.
The problem with judging Melvin Ingram for missing practices
Look, we are in unprecedented times, everyone knows that. You might come to Bolt Beat as a source of escapism from reality but the truth of the matter is that the COVID-19 pandemic is shaping our entire lives, including the 2020 NFL season.
With everything that is going on in the world right now, I simply think we should not be so quick to judge Ingram for missing two practices. Is there a chance that he is holding out for a new contract? Absolutely. But there is also the chance that Ingram is either worried about his health or safety.
We are not here to speculate if Ingram has contracted the virus, but with everything surrounding the virus, that absolutely could be a reason why he sat out these few days. The truth of the matter is that we just do not know.
And heck, even if he is holding out for a new contract, can you blame him? He has been asked to play in this unheard-of NFL season and I cannot blame Ingram for wanting his future to be taken care of by the team that he is playing for during a pandemic.
While there absolutely is a right and wrong way to go about negotiations, I can never blame a player (even Melvin Gordon) for trying to maximize their value. Sometimes it might not work out and that is just the risk they take.