The Los Angeles Chargers are staring a scary situation in the face following the Week 12 game against the Arizona Cardinals. While talented running back Melvin Gordon has been battling various injuries over the recent weeks, he suffered a setback Sunday and there’s concern over the severity.
As the NFL revealed, Gordon was officially listed as questionable to return with a knee injury after it happened.
Unfortunately, Gordon’s injury could be a major cause for concern based on the fact that he was already battling a knee injury heading into this game. Prior to kickoff, ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed that Gordon convinced coaches to let him play although there was interest in resting him.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed that Gordon suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain. In turn, he will likely miss a few weeks and could be out for the bulk of the fantasy playoffs.
Gordon’s injury came in the form of a hard hit to his knee and was after he had scored twice on the day already while adding 61 yards on 10 attempts. Unfortunately, there’s fear that it could be something serious, which we likely won’t get word on until after the game.
Fantasy Impact of Melvin Gordon’s Injury
Chargers backup running back Austin Ekeler gets an immediate bump in terms of fantasy football value. If Gordon is forced to miss any time, then Ekeler will hold down the fort and be the go-to option more than likely. He has some legitimate potential to do damage as an NFL back but has seen limited playing time behind Gordon.
In spot duty, while replacing Gordon, the 23-year-old out of Western State Colorado rushed five times for 35 yards and one score while catching 10 passes for 68 yards Sunday. Prior to this game, Ekeler had totaled 65 attempts for 374 yards while pulling down 22 passes for 286 yards and three scores on the season.
It’s worth noting that rookie Justin Jackson received seven carries in Week 12, so he may be a name to consider as well, but will almost certainly lose any pass-catching duties to Ekeler. With that said, Jackson looked good in limited action, totaling 57 yards on his seven carries. Ekeler would be the first option for a fantasy pick up, but Jackson deserves consideration in larger leagues.
There is some risk that comes with Jackson, as he had only received five carries all year prior to this game, so expectations should be tempered with the Chargers No. 3 back.