Editor’s update 8:26 a.m.: The Chargers activated Melvin Gordon to the 53-man roster on Saturday and he will be active on Sunday against the Dolphins. However, the expectation is he would only be used in an emergency, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. Austin Ekeler will get the start, and if this report is accurate, Ekeler is looking at a workhorse kind of day in Week 4.
The Los Angeles Chargers have struggled out of the gate, but they got a huge boost on Thursday with running back Melvin Gordon ending his holdout and returning to the team. Gordon is unhappy with his contract, but rather than follow Le’Veon Bell’s lead and sit out the season, he is returning as the calendar approaches October.
You’d think a returning holdout might wait more than three days before playing, but circumstances might change that. on Thursday, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said he did not expect Gordon to play on Sunday against the Dolphins. He offered a “never say never” but also said it was doubtful Gordon would be available.
Things changed on Friday with word that running back Justin Jackson is out for Week 4 due to a calf injury suffered on Wednesday. Jackson could miss several weeks, but the big question is what might happen this weekend. Head coach Anthony Lynn said Gordon could get a limited workload given the team’s lack of depth.
Fantasy impact: Austin Ekeler retained first team reps this week in practice, but Lynn said Gordon would resume his starting role once he is ready to go. That means Ekeler will return to his complementary role, and Justin Jackson could be the odd man out of the mix once he’s healthy. Jackson has not been a strong fantasy option during Gordon’s absence, but he’s offered some upside in PPR leagues. That goes away once Gordon is ready to go.
For Week 4, you should not plan on starting Gordon. He might get some work in, but it likely won’t be enough to be worth rolling the dice.