Coach Anthony Lynn told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche that the Chargers (10-3) are “not optimistic” about the availability of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler for Thursday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium.
Gordon has missed the last two games with a knee injury while Ekeler injured his neck in the waning moments of Sunday’s 26-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Lynn said that the short week just doesn’t present enough time for them to be ready for Los Angeles, which would clinch a postseason berth with a win against Kansas City.
Should Gordon and/or Ekeler be unavailable to play versus the first-place Chiefs (11-2), rookies Justin Jackson and/or Detrez Newsome would be in line for more carries.
Gordon was injured on a reverse early in the second half of a 45-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 25, with a leg whip by defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche taking him down for a 10-yard loss.
The 25-year-old Gordon has a team-leading 802 rushing yards on 153 carries for a 5.2 per-carry average. Gordon, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, also has 44 catches for 453 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns (nine rushing, four receiving) on the season.
Ekeler, who had 94 total yards and a touchdown against the Bengals, has carried 98 times for 496 yards with two scores in 2018. The 23-year-old also caught 39 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns.
Jackson, who was a seventh-round pick out of Northwestern, has rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts in his last three games. The 22-year-old also has three receptions for 42 yards in that span.