Newsome is likely to serve as the top backup to Justin Jackson in Thursday’s game against the Chiefs after coach Anthony Lynn told Steve Wyche of NFL Network that he’s “not optimistic” Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (neck/concussion) will be available for the contest.
Both injured backs were listed as non-participants on Monday’s estimated practice report and seem unlikely to increase their activity enough over the next two days to gain clearance for the Week 15 matchup. Even though Gordon missed his second straight game over the weekend against the Bengals and Ekeler exited late in the contest, Newsome didn’t see any work on offense, as all 12 of the undrafted rookie’s snaps came on special teams. Given that Newsome has seen only 11 offensive snaps in total in his seven games with the Chargers, it’s difficult to envision him capturing a major role in the game plan, as Lynn seems more likely to lean on Jackson as a three-down workhorse. It’s also conceivable that Los Angeles will add another running back to its roster prior to Thursday, which could further hurt Newsome’s chances of making an impact on offense.