Melvin Gordon Knee Injury Diagnosed as Sprain; RB Expected to Play vs. Patriots

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) is assisted off the field after a play in the first half of an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is expected to play in Sunday's divisional-round game against the New England Patriots after suffering a "little knee sprain" against the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Rapoport noted, though, that Gordon may not be 100 percent against the Patriots:

Gordon left the Wild Card Round matchup in the first quarter but was able to return. He finished the game with 17 carries for 40 yards and one touchdown.

It's been an injury-riddled season for the fourth-year back. He missed Week 7 due to a hamstring injury, and a knee injury sidelined him for three games in December.

Gordon has established himself as the Chargers' No. 1 back when healthy. After averaging 1,051 yards and nine scores in 2016 and 2017, he rushed for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games during the regular season in 2018. He fumbled just once in 225 touches.

While Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson have shown to be capable backs, having a workhorse like Gordon could be crucial against New England. The running game could prove key this weekend, as the Weather Channel forecast shows 32 degrees with the possibility of snow for Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Sunday.

Not to mention the fact the Patriots went 8-0 at Gillette Stadium during the regular season. Or that they've won eight consecutive home playoff games. Or that they've made it to three of the last four Super Bowls.

The Chargers are going to need all hands on deck if they are going to advance to their first AFC Championship Game since the 2007 season.

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