With a win over the Chiefs on Thursday night, the Chargers can take a step closer towards winning the AFC West title. Unfortunately, it sounds like they’ll go into the game without their two best running backs.
The Chargers are not optimistic that Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (neck, concussion) will be ready for this weeks’ game, head coach Anthony Lynn tells Steve Wyche of NFL.com (on Twitter). Instead, the Chargers are planning to use rookie running backs Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome in the backfield.
Gordon has been sidelined since sustaining a grade 2 MCL sprain in Los Angeles’ Week 12 matchup with Arizona. Since then, Jackson has been a bit of a mixed bag for the Chargers. He averaged eight yards per carry in Weeks 12 and 13, but had just 12 yards off of seven carries in Sunday’s win over the Bengals. Newsome, meanwhile, has not touched the ball in the last two games.
If the Chiefs beat the Chargers on Thursday, they’ll clinch the AFC West title, allowing them to rest their best players over the final two weeks of the season. Even in that scenario, the Chargers are all virtually assured a place in the postseason.
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