The Los Angeles Chargers (8-3) have been one of the most balanced teams in the NFL and remain in the hunt for the AFC West crown as well as home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The running game, however, was dealt a serious blow Sunday when star rusher Melvin Gordon left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury. Gordon was tackled low in the Chargers’ 45-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals (2-9), with L.A. looking to build on a 28-10 lead.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Gordon was diagnosed with a grade 2 MCL sprain and is expected to miss the next few weeks. ESPN reported Gordon could miss at least one of the Chargers’ upcoming games.
The team confirmed that Gordon had suffered a sprained MCL and would be “evaluated week-to-week.”
Results of an MRI on Melvin Gordon’s right knee confirmed the initial diagnosis of a medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain.
His status will be evaluated week-to-week.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) November 26, 2018
After the game, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn told reporters that Gordon’s knee was swollen.
Gordon has thrived this season, with 802 rushing yards and 453 receiving yards to go along with 13 total touchdowns. With Gordon out, the Chargers will likely turn to backup Austin Ekeler.
Gordon’s probable absence in Sunday’s road matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1) could have major playoff implications in the AFC. The Steelers’ margin for error in getting a first-round bye is low, while the Chargers are trying to catch up to the Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) in the AFC West.
The Chargers have upcoming games against the Cincinnati Bengals, Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos.