Los Angeles Chargers: Can team get into playoffs without Melvin Gordon?
By Travis Wakeman
Injuries are mounting for the Los Angeles Chargers as they make their final push toward the postseason.
With Hunter Henry already out for the season, the team has also seen Denzel Perryman, Russell Okung and Corey Liuget hobbled by injuries.
Now, star running back Melvin Gordon is dealing with an ankle injury and though he is optimistic about playing on Sunday, he may not be 100 percent.
#Chargers RB Melvin Gordon, dealing with an ankle sprain, is optimistic about playing Sunday vs. #Raiders, source said. Swelling was minimal
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 27, 2017
That could be a big blow as the Chargers must defeat the Oakland Raiders if their season is going to continue. On top of that, Austin Ekeler, the team’s primary backup at running back, is playing with a broken hand and has been regulated to special teams.
Branden Oliver is an experienced backup, but he’s nowhere near as dynamic as Gordon. However, the Chargers will have to rely on him if Gordon isn’t able to go on Sunday.
Gordon has had a great season, including rushing for 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. He also has 52 receptions and a combined 12 touchdowns. Most importantly, he averages 21.2 offensive touches per game, by far the most on the team.
That’s a lot of production to have to replace. And though it may only be for one game, the Chargers don’t have another game if they can’t get by the Raiders.
The Raiders have had a disappointing season after being one of the AFC’s best teams in 2016, but they won’t be rolling over in this one. If they can spoil the Chargers’ playoff hopes, they’ll take that as a serious victory.
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The Chargers have been a resilient team, as evidenced by the way Antonio Gates filled in for the missing Henry in Week 16 against the New York Jets. But how many holes can the Chargers successfully fill?
Over the previous two seasons, injuries destroyed the Chargers’ chances of being a contender early on. This season, it just took a little longer.
The Chargers will have to overcome injuries if they want to advance to the playoffs but even if they get into the tournament, how effective can they be if these key players aren’t 100 percent or not in uniform?
How do you feel these injuries will effect the rest of this season for the Chargers? Let us know in the comment section below.