COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Russell Okung was with his Los Angeles Chargers teammates for the start of training camp Thursday but he will be sidelined indefinitely.
The veteran left tackle revealed via Twitter that he is being treated for blood clots. He said in a statement that the condition was discovered after he suffered a pulmonary embolism during a June 1 offseason practice at the team facility.
"After experiencing unusual chest pain at practice, on June 1st I went to urgent care out of an abundance of caution," he said. "According to the doctors who treated me, the decision to do so likely saved my life."
Okung said since the condition was detected early, it is treatable. He is attending meetings and receiving treatment after missing last month's minicamp.
The Chargers placed Okung on the active/non-football list Wednesday, meaning he still counts against the 90-man roster limit.
"While near death type experiences are certainly a wakeup call, I'm feeling great physically. It's not an ankle or shoulder," Okung tweeted. "As soon as doctors clear me, my plans include blocking #17's blind side (Philip Rivers) all the way to Miami."
Rivers echoed Okung in saying that injuries such as this are more of a wake-up call.
"This is one of those silent and deadly deals," he said. "Thankfully, he is getting the treatment and he caught it soon enough. He's here in meetings and in his jersey. When he's healthy we'll get him back there."
While Okung is out, Sam Tevi and Trent Scott will see time at left tackle. Tevi started 17 games last season and moved to left tackle when Okung missed the Oct. 7 game against Oakland due to a groin injury. Scott started one game at right tackle.
The Chargers held their first practice without running back Melvin Gordon, who is holding out in hopes of getting a new contract. Rivers said coach Anthony Lynn did not bring up Gordon's holdout when he talked to the team Wednesday night.
Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome all got time with the first team during Thursday's two-hour practice.
Lynn said the holdout will not be a distraction for a team that many are favoring to reach the Super Bowl after going 12-4 and reaching the AFC divisional round last season.
"We don't like to talk about players that aren't here," Lynn said. "We understand his situation. We love him but he's not here."