Melvin Gordon Injury Update: Chargers RB to Be Placed on Injured Reserve

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2015

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 20:   Orlando Franklin #74 of the San Diego Chargers reaches out to  Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers after he was injured during the first half of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on December 20, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has cartilage damage in his knee and will be placed on injured reserve, according to Ricky Henne of the team's official website.    

Gordon initially injured his knee on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. It is a tough end of a rookie season that saw him rush for just 641 yards in 14 games. 

Per NFL Network's Rand Getlin, Gordon will be evaluated by Dr. James Andrews to determine whether his knee will require surgery. Gordon will get a second opinion after meeting with Andrews, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune's Michael Gehlken

On a 4-10 Chargers team, Gordon averaged 3.5 yards per carry and didn't score a single touchdown after being selected 15th overall in the 2015 draft. 

Though his numbers haven't been what the Chargers or their fans expected, head coach Mike McCoy knows he has something good with Gordon in his backfield. He spoke with Gehlken after learning of Gordon's situation:

Even former Charger great, running back LaDainian Tomlinson, gave the rookie a vote of confidence while speaking with Gehlken earlier this season:

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Melvin's going to be fine. He's done some terrific things, and he's only going to get better. He's still learning. It is not easy to make that transition from college to the NFL. Some guys do it quicker than others. That's because of the situation and certain things that happen. But I guarantee you if I was in Melvin's position, things probably would be the same for me.

In a pass-heavy Chargers offense led by quarterback Philip Rivers, Gordon didn't get much of a chance to see a regularly heavy workload. Through 15 weeks, Rivers has attempted 583 passes this season, while San Diego has run the ball 339 times. 

According to calculations using numbers from Pro-Football-Reference.com, Gordon saw the ball on a little over 23 percent of San Diego's offensive snaps, losing carries to veterans Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown after Branden Oliver went down with a season-ending toe injury. A future franchise running back—like Gordon has been billed—should be seeing the ball more than that. 

Despite the struggles, Gordon was already looking toward next season before the injury for another chance to prove his worth, as he told Gehlken:

I believe it. My time will come. I promise you: I’ll make it happen. I always start off rough like this. I don’t know why. It just always happens to me on every single level (of football). This one, it sucks. It sucks every time; it’s never good. But I guess you’ve got to have some bad, to make some mistakes to learn from it. I’m going to be better. This whole team is going to be better. I can promise you that. This record will not be the same next year. I promise you.

With the Chargers' season over already, the loss of Gordon for the remainder of 2015 won't do much more to hurt them.

But after a frustrating rookie season that now ends with injury, it will be important for the team to keep Gordon—who is eager to improve on his first season—involved moving forward.

Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.