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Week 14 injury watch: Melvin Gordon to sit again

  • By Jason B. Hirschhorn
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The Los Angeles Chargers declared themselves legitimate Super Bowl contenders last Sunday after knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers in Heinz Field in prime time. That the Chargers managed the upset without star running back Melvin Gordon only heightened the accomplishment.

Of course, Los Angeles needs Gordon if it hopes to seriously compete for the AFC West crown and make noise in the playoffs. Gordon's knee injury will cost him another game, this one a home matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chargers might skate by without Gordon this week, but the final stretch of their schedule includes contests with the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos. Running the table looks difficult with Gordon in tow. It seems impossible without him.

Gordon's continued absence headlines the NFL injury news in Week 14.

Bears: Mitch Trubisky (shoulder) - The Chase Daniel era has mercifully ended for the Bears, who now return second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky to the lineup. While Trubisky's play has fluctuated throughout the season, his presence raises the ceiling for Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and the team's other skill-position players.

Buccaneers: DeSean Jackson (thumb) - The Buccaneers will play without premier deep threat DeSean Jackson for the second week in a row. Though Jackson's injuries in this season don't bode well for his outlook with Tampa Bay in 2019, his absence further opens the door for Chris Godwin.

Chargers: Melvin Gordon (knee) - For at least another week, the Chargers will take the field without their star running back. Melvin Gordon's knee injury continues to limit him, forcing the team to split the backfield workload between Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson.

Chiefs: Sammy Watkins (foot) - Not only will Sammy Watkins miss Week 14, he might sit out the remainder of the regular season. Chiefs coach Andy Reid revealed that Watkins "tweaked his foot" during Thursday's practice and underwent an MRI to confirm the damage. Kansas City signed wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin soon thereafter, a strong sign that Watkins will miss an extended period of time.

Lions: Kerryon Johnson (knee), Matthew Stafford (back) - Though not surprising, rookie running back Kerryon Johnson will sit out another week with his knee injury. Johnson's absence means another week of watching LeGarrette Blount run in quicksand with Theo Riddick seeing some action in relief. Whether Johnson can return before the end of the fantasy playoffs remains unclear. Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford enters the weekend with a questionable injury designation for his sore back, though his ongoing streak of 127 consecutive starts suggest the quarterback will find his way onto the field Sunday.

49ers: Pierre Garçon (knee) - Pierre Garçon will miss yet another game with his knee injury, extending his absence five weeks. 2018 has largely proven to be a lost season for San Francisco after multiple key players suffered serious injuries. If Garçon doesn't make his way back onto the field before the end of the year, we might not see him in a 49ers uniform again.

Ravens: Joe Flacco (hip) - The Ravens haven't given a clear indication whether Joe Flacco will play this week, nor has anyone involved revealed if Lamar Jackson will return to his gadget role once that occurs. Flacco suggested Friday that he might back up Jackson, though he didn't commit to anything. Baltimore's offense has a higher ceiling with Jackson at quarterback, especially for fantasy managers with Gus Williams on their rosters.

Saints: Michael Thomas (ankle) - Though Michael Thomas missed Wednesday's practice entirely, the star receiver has fully participated the last two days and shows no apparent limitations. As such, the Saints removed Thomas from the injury report entirely, just in time for the fantasy playoffs.