Chargers Rumors

Austin Ekeler Unlikely For Week 15

  • With a home game against the Chargers and a road tilt in Seattle, the Chiefs have a tough back-to-back assignment coming up. Their top wide receiver likely will not be 100 percent for those games. Tyreek Hill said Sunday, via NBC Sports’ Peter King, his foot was “bad.” Hill left Sunday’s overtime win because of injury but returned, and Andy Reid expects the deep threat to play against the Bolts on Thursday. The Chiefs possessed a top-flight skill-position quartet, powering Patrick Mahomes‘ MVP candidacy, this season. But they are now without Kareem Hunt and Sammy Watkins, the latter likely out until the playoffs. Hill has not missed an NFL game due to injury. A Hill absence would make Kansas City vulnerable against a Chargers team that would move into an 11-3 tie atop the AFC West with a win. That said, the Chiefs would still hold the divisional-record tiebreaker and keep the top spot.
  • With a home game against the Chargers and a road tilt in Seattle, the Chiefs have a tough back-to-back assignment coming up. Their top wide receiver likely will not be 100 percent for those games. Tyreek Hill said Sunday, via NBC Sports’ Peter King, his foot was “bad.” Hill left Sunday’s overtime win because of injury but returned, and Andy Reid expects the deep threat to play against the Bolts on Thursday. The Chiefs possessed a top-flight skill-position quartet, powering Patrick Mahomes‘ MVP candidacy, this season. But they are now without Kareem Hunt and Sammy Watkins, the latter likely out until the playoffs. Hill has not missed an NFL game due to injury. A Hill absence would make Kansas City vulnerable against a Chargers team that would move into an 11-3 tie atop the AFC West with a win. That said, the Chiefs would still hold the divisional-record tiebreaker and keep the top spot.
  • Chances for a Thursday recovery for Austin Ekeler aren’t as good. The second-year Chargers running back suffered a bruised nerve in his neck, per Eric Williams of ESPN.com, and although he played through similar discomfort earlier this season, Ekeler not playing appears to be the most likely scenario. “It’s football, yeah, but there’s a lot of life after football, too,” Ekeler said Monday. Melvin Gordon is expected to return from his MCL injury, however.

Ekeler Could Miss Time

While Week 14 wasn’t nearly as bad as recent weeks in terms of carnage, there were still some significant injuries to big players today. The Chargers are already dealing with the loss of running back Melvin Gordon to an MCL injury, and may now be without his backfield mate Austin Ekeler for a while. Ekeler aggravated the stingers he’s been dealing with in the team’s win over the Bengals today, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Chargers play in Kansas City this Thursday night in a huge game for playoff seeding, and Schefter writes that “the short week will make it tough” for Ekeler to play.

Melvin Gordon Expected To Return In Week 15

  • The Chiefs and Chargers will play each other in a pivotal Week 15 bout this Thursday. La Canfora tweets that Kansas City safety Eric Berry and Los Angeles running back Melvin Gordon will both be on the field for that game, although both are inactive today.

Melvin Gordon To Miss Week 14

The Chargers will be without the services of Melvin Gordon for at least another game, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets

The Pro Bowl running back has been sidelined since sustaining a grade 2 MCL sprain in Los Angeles’ Week 12 matchup with Arizona. There were hopes he could make a return in time for the team’s Sunday tilt with the Bengals, but the earliest he could now return is a pivotal Thursday-night showdown with the Chiefs.

The absence of the star running back didn’t slow down the Chargers in Week 13, as they pulled out a thrilling 33-30 victory over the Steelers on Sunday night thanks to the services of Austin Ekeler and rookie Justin Jackson. With Gordon out, those two will again share the carries against a Cincinnati team in a free fall, having lost each of its last four games.

At 9-3, the Chargers have all but locked up a playoff spot. They are, however, still battling with the Chiefs for the division crown. With Kansas City on the schedule just four days after their meeting with the Bengals, the Chargers could be taking a cautious approach to make sure the 2017 Pro Bowl selection is ready to go.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt Withdraws From Georgia Tech HC Search

Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt has withdrawn his name from Georgia Tech’s head coaching search, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Whisenhunt was initially expected to interview for the Georgia Tech position last weekend, but those plans changed. A new meeting was reportedly set up for this week, but it’s unclear if that summit ever actually took place.

Whisenhunt is in the midst of his second stint as the Chargers’ OC. His first run came in 2013, under then-head coach Mike McCoy. Whisenhunt left to become the Titans’ head coach for one-and-a-half seasons before returning in 2016, and stuck around even after McCoy was fired. This year, Whisenhunt’s offense ranks third in DVOA, fifth in total yards, and fifth in scoring.

Los Angeles is virtually assured of a postseason berth and still has an outside chance at taking the AFC West. The Chargers will close out the season by facing the Bengals, Chiefs, Ravens, and Broncos.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/5/18

Today’s practice squad moves:

Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Signed: CB Horace Richardson

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Signed: WR Justice Liggins

Miami Dolphins

Seattle Seahawks

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/3/18

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers 

Tennessee Titans

Chargers Waive OT Joe Barksdale

The Chargers are waiving veteran tackle Joe Barksdale, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Barksdale also confirmed the news by tweeting his goodbye to the team and its fans. 

I just want to take a moment to say thank you to the Chargers organization and all of the true die hard Charger fans,” Barksdale wrote. “Since 2015, this team has been my home and my teammates my family. I will truly miss everyone, but look forward to what the future has in store for me.”

Barksdale, 31 in January, was inactive on Sunday due to a non-injury related issue. He appeared in just six games this season and only two contests in September and October.

Barksdale was a starting tackle for the bulk of his career, but was relegated to a reserve role this year. The league’s other 31 teams will have an opportunity to claim him in the next 24 hours, but that’s unlikely to happen with one more full season to go on his four-year, $22MM deal.

Barksdale saw just 144 snaps this year, his lowest output in years. He did not see enough action to qualify for ranking, but his 62.6 overall score from Pro Football Focus paints him as a below average protector.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 12/2/18

Today’s workout updates, all courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter):

Arizona Cardinals

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

  • G Will House

Seattle Seahawks

Melvin Gordon Could Return As Soon As Next Week

  • Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, who is currently sidelined with a Grade 2 MCL sprain, could be back as soon as next week, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Gordon will miss tonight’s game against Pittsburgh but has a chance to return for the team’s December 9 matchup with the Bengals or the December 13 game in Arrowhead.