Chargers RB Gordon (knee) out again

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) has accounted for 11 touchdowns this season.Photo Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers say Gordon will not play on Sunday against the Bengals.

Running back Melvin Gordon of the Los Angeles Chargers missed a third straight practice on Friday because of a knee injury and later in the day the team announced that he will not play on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Chargers (9-3) are playing it safe with their leading rusher so he can possibly be close to full strength next Thursday night in a key AFC West game against the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs (10-2).

“It’s possible,” head coach Anthony Lynn said on Thursday when asked if Gordon would be ready for the Bengals. “You never know. You never know. You just want everybody preparing for everybody.”

Gordon sustained the injury two weeks ago against the Arizona Cardinals and the Chargers said he was “week-to-week” before he sat out last Sunday’s victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“It won’t be long now,” a Chargers source told earlier this week in regard to Gordon’s return, but apparently he did not progress as quickly as hoped.

Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will continue to share the running back chores against the Bengals.

Gordon has rushed for 802 yards on 153 carries this season, a 5.2-yard average, and scored nine touchdowns, in addition to catching 44 passes for 453 yards and four more scores.