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Chargers RBs Gordon, Ekeler unlikely to play vs. Chiefs

The Los Angeles Chargers appear to be heading into Thursday night's showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs without their top two running backs.

Coach Anthony Lynn told NFL Network's Steve Wyche that the Chargers are not optimistic that running backs Melvin Gordon (knee) or Austin Ekeler (neck, concussion) will be available Thursday. Lynn noted that the short week does not seem like enough time for either running back to be ready.

Gordon has missed the past two games after suffering a knee injury. Ekeler was hurt in Sunday's victory over the Bengals on an onside kick at the end of the game. Gordon, for his part, believes there's still a chance he could play.

"I definitely feel it will be a game-day decision," Gordon said, per Gilbert Manzano of the Orange County Register. "Still trying to decide what we're going to do. I know coach is trying to be careful, doesn't want me to further hurt myself."

The news is a blow to the Chargers, who are looking to end a nine-game losing streak to the Chiefs. L.A. would clinch a playoff berth with a win and move into a tie for the AFC West lead.

Ekeler, who is in concussion protocol, did not practice on Tuesday, while Gordon was limited.

With Gordon and Ekeler not expected to play, rookies Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome, would be the Chargers top two running backs.

Jackson would get the start and figures to see the bulk of the backfield touches. A seventh-round pick out of Northwestern, Jackson displays burst through the hole and power on the second level, compiling 75 rushing yards on 15 rushing attempts with one touchdown the past two games.

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