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Melvin Gordon looms as question mark for Chargers

By The Sports Xchange
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon III is tackled by Denver Broncos defenders Todd Davis (51) and Domata Peko Sr (94) on November 18 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon III is tackled by Denver Broncos defenders Todd Davis (51) and Domata Peko Sr (94) on November 18 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is a question mark for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Gordon was limited in practice Thursday and Friday due to knee and hamstring injuries and could be looming as a game-time decision for the Chargers.

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"Took some of the load off of him today," Los Angeles coach Anthony Lynn said after Friday's practice. "Tomorrow we'll see how he runs around and then Sunday."

Gordon rushed for 69 yards on 18 carries and had six receptions for 87 yards in last week's 23-22 loss to Denver, but he was held out of the end zone for the first time since the season opener.

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A hamstring injury caused Gordon to sit out a matchup against the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 21, but he has at least 16 carries in each of the subsequent three games.

Gordon is a critical cog in the offense for the Chargers, who had a six-game winning streak snapped last week. He has rushed for 741 yards and seven touchdowns and added 42 catches for four more scores.

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"The thing about Melvin is, last year and even back in 2016, he got a lot of carries and he got stronger and stronger as they went. Obviously, you don't want to give him too many," Los Angeles offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said. "As long as he's healthy, which he's been, and running he seems to get stronger as the game goes on."

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If Gordon is unable to go, the Chargers will turn to backup Austin Ekeler, who practiced fully on Thursday and Friday after he was limited Wednesday due to a neck issue.

Ekeler has rushed for 374 yards and is averaged 5.8 yards per carry. He got the start against Tennessee last month and rushed 12 times for 42 yards while catching five passes for 26 yards.

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