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Melvin Gordon could play in Week 4 with Justin Jackson ruled out

The Chargers running back situation is strong but messy. Justin Jackson is out with a calf injury, and suddenly Melvin Gordon might play three days after returning. We break down the Week 4 fantasy football implications.

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon III runs the ball as Denver Broncos strong safety Darian Stewart defends in the third quarter at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers injury report has been growing by the week, and the latest news brings a twist with it. Running back Justin Jackson suffered a calf injury on Wednesday and has been ruled out for the team’s Week 4 contest against the Miami Dolphins. He was listed as limited on Thursday and then was given the formal OUT designation on Friday. He could miss several weeks with the injury, according to Ian Rapoport.

The news comes with Melvin Gordon’s return on Thursday after a holdout through the first three weeks of the season. Austin Ekeler will start on Sunday, but with Jackson sidelined, head coach Anthony Lynn said Gordon could play in a limited role in Week 4, according to Chargers reporter Eric Williams. He is currently on the team’s exempt list, but would need to be activated by Saturday.

Fantasy impact: This certainly is a curve ball. We’ll find out over the weekend what Gordon’s status will be for Sunday, but he is not a smart start in fantasy if he is active. If Lynn is willing to play Gordon even a little bit, his conditioning is likely in solid shape. That being said, you shouldn’t expect much work and fantasy production. If you have Ekeler, you can still safely start him. If you have Gordon, you should hold off inserting him into your starting lineup.