By Dave Thomas
Two games have resulted in two losses. As the old adage goes, things can only get better from here.
The Los Angeles Chargers look to get off the snide this Sunday when they host old-time AFC West rival Kansas City. After tough losses to Denver and Miami, respectively, Los Angeles hopes its fortunes will change when the 2-0 Chiefs come to town.
In order for those fortunes to change, the Chargers may have to go it without their top running back. If that’s the case, an already suspect running attack could be put in further trouble.
Gordon Sees Limited Practice With Knee Injury
With a good Kansas City defense coming to town, the Chargers would like nothing more than to have a relatively healthy Melvin Gordon at the running back position.
The third-year pro saw limited practice both Thursday and Friday with a knee injury. In two games to date this season, Gordon has rushed for 67 yards on 27 carries and one TD. With those numbers, you can see one of the reasons as to why the Bolts are off to an 0-2 start.
Meantime, corner Jason Verrett (knee) continues to remain on the shelf with a knee injury.
Los Angeles is also dealing with a groin injury to wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, though the veteran did take part in full practices the last three days.
Last, the Chargers did get limited practice from rookie wide receiver Mike Williams, though he will once again be out for this weekend’s action.
So, while the injury news could of course be worse, having Gordon in there could certainly take some pressure off of quarterback Philip Rivers.
Speaking of pressure, will rookie kicker Younghoe Koo have the game on his foot for the third week in a row?
After missing game-ending field goal attempts the last two games, Koo is likely hoping that Rivers and Co. are able to get an early lead and stave off any last-minute excitement. With the Chiefs having won the last six meetings between the two teams, don’t expect Los Angeles to win going away.
Confidence Can Be A Funny Thing
Stop for a moment and think about where the Chargers would be if Koo makes both or even one of those late-game kicks. After two weeks of play, Los Angeles is staring up at the rest of the AFC West Division, a division that has its three other teams a combined 6-0.
While one would be a little too dramatic in saying this Sunday’s contest is a must-win game for the Bolts, losing could really send this season spiraling out of control.
Meantime, the Chiefs come into Southern California brimming with confidence following wins over defending Super Bowl champ New England and Philadelphia, respectively. If Kansas City can leave town with a 3-0 mark, it will be in good position for what is shaping up as a challenging October schedule.
That schedule involves games with Washington, Houston, Pittsburgh, Oakland and Denver.
Los Angeles reported the following injury update as of Friday:
- (WR) Dontrelle Inman (Groin) – Full Practice
- (S) Rayshawn Jenkins (Shoulder) – Full Practice
- (C) Spencer Pulley (Knee) – Full Practice
- (OG) Kenny Wiggins (Ankle) – Full Practice
- (WR) Mike Williams (Back) – Limited Practice
- (CB) Jason Verrett (Knee) – Did Not Practice
- (OT) Joe Barksdale (Foot) – Did Not Practice
- (RB) Melvin Gordon (Knee) – Limited Practice
- (MLB) Hayes Pullard (Knee) – Limited Practice