Running back Melvin Gordon of the Los Angeles Chargers will not play in Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of a knee injury, the team confirmed on Friday.
It was not unexpected because the Chargers said on Monday that Gordon was considered week-to-week after an MRI exam disclosed that he is dealing with an MCL sprain of his right knee.
After Gordon failed to practice in any capacity on Wednesday through Friday, coach Anthony Lynn confirmed to reporters that the 25-year-old will be sidelined for the second time this season.
Austin Ekeler will be the starting running back behind quarterback Philip Rivers, backed up by Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome.
Lynn says he is confident the 5-9, 200-pound Eckler can fill the void.
“That’s why you see him running through tackles,” Lynn said. “That’s why you see him creating yards after contact. He’s not a big back, but he can do those type of things.”
When Gordon was out against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7, Ekeler filled in and had 12 carries for 42 yards plus five catches for 26 yards in a 20-19 victory.
Gordon leads the Chargers with 153 carries for 802 yards and nine touchdowns, in addition to 44 receptions for 453 yards and four more scores. Ekeler has 70 carries for 409 yards and a touchdown, and 32 catches for 354 yards and three scores.