Though the Los Angeles Chargers are dealing with a slew of injuries, they will be getting one of their top players back on the field starting this Sunday.
After a brief holdout (which seemed like a long one), Melvin Gordon will be in uniform and on the field in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos. Though it will be nice to have their star running back in the fold, the Chargers don’t have to rush him into action.
In addition to already having a solid rushing attack while Gordon has been absent, the Chargers play a favorable schedule in the coming weeks, starting with the winless Broncos. The Broncos have been absolutely terrible against the run, yielding over 200 yards on the ground last week to Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Chargers should be able to get the run game going against the Broncos with Austin Ekeler and they can sprinkle Gordon in. There should be no reason for Gordon to have more than 10 touches in this game.
Many readers may be asking “why would that be”? but it’s hard to imagine that a player who has not played a competitive snap since last January is going to come out and handle the ball 20-25 times. That would be both stupid and irresponsible.
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The Chargers could probably win both of these games without Gordon and just because he’s available should not mean that he should be overworked and given a bevy of carries like he’s the only running back on the roster.
Ekeler has done more than enough to prove that he deserves to be on the field and he should be the team’s lead back, at least for this game and possibly the clash with the Steelers.
Gordon can be eased in, allowed to shake off any rust and get back up to speed since the NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint.
In all likelihood, this is the same way the coaching staff sees the situation. Look for Gordon to get some light work against the Broncos but for Ekeler to be the guy the team leans on the most, at least for a little bit longer.