NOTE: During the regular season, this column is a living document through Tuesday morning. I'll be updating as needed after team press conferences, imaging reports, Monday Night Football injuries, etc. Major changes to the content will be noted in red.
Scroll to the bottom of this article for a quick look table of the week's most pressing injury situations and a review of players on injured reserve / PUP / NFI.
Footballguys will have close and detailed coverage of all injuries this season. Here's a look at my expected schedule. I will do my best to stick to this. Work and family responsibilities may sometimes cause brief delays.
Monday Injury Rounds: Posted Sunday night, updated through Tuesday AM. Detailed analysis of the week's injuries with table for quick review. Offensive injuries will be live Sunday night. Critical defensive and offensive line injuries will be added throughout the day on Monday. I'll be updating with news and analysis through Tuesday.
Midweek Injury Expectations: Posted Wednesday night. Analysis of the practice participation report with a table including my projection of each injured player's likely game status. Will include discussion of any major breaking injury news.
Sunday Gameday Expectations: Posted by Saturday afternoon, updated through Sunday morning inactives. Will include individual player blurbs with detailed thoughts on the week's injury news and my speculation on player availability and limitations. Will include table highlighting each day's practice participation, official game status, and my availability expectation.
I'll be contributing to our waiver wire podcast (Tuesday release) and our live Sunday morning pregame show (10 ET Sunday on YouTube). I will also be retweeting key pieces of news and my own reaction and analysis, so make sure you're following me @JeneBramel and checking my timeline on Twitter throughout the week.
Melvin Gordon III | Right MCL sprain | Week-to-Week | Doubtful Week 13
After a concerning week of practice and a lukewarm Friday endorsement from Anthony Lynn, Gordon looked much healthier than I expected yesterday. Unfortunately, Gordon took a hard hit to his right knee on a reverse and left the game. Multiple reports indicate Gordon suffered a medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain on the play. Gordon's previous hamstring and knee injuries did not make Sunday's new injury more likely. Lynn told reporters it was Gordon's left knee that limited him in practice last week.
Gordon will have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of his sprain and look for other damage. There's no apparent concern for an ACL tear and Gordon's injury is not expected to be season ending. Recovery from an MCL sprain depends on two factors. First, Gordon's knee will have to be stable on examination. That means his knee must not appear loose under stress. A higher grade sprain will take longer to heal and return to its pre-injury state. Second, Gordon will have to feel that his knee is stable when he cuts at football speed. Lower grade sprains may recover quickly enough to return to play in 1-2 weeks. Higher grade sprains can take 4-6 weeks of rehab.
It's too soon to know how long Gordon will be out. Expect him to miss at least one week. If the MRI images show a higher-grade injury, Gordon may miss multiple weeks.
Monday Update: The Chargers confirmed Gordon sustained a Grade 2 MCL sprain. A Grade 1 injury is more of a stretch than a discrete tear. A Grade 3 injury is a complete rupture of the ligament. Grade 2 injuries include everything in-between. The team tweeted that Gordon will be evaluated weekly. Ian Rapoport reported Gordon will be "out the next few weeks but should be back before the end of the season if all goes well." That sounds like a relatively significant mid-grade sprain. The Chargers would undoubtedly love to have Gordon back in time for their Thursday night matchup in Kansas City in Week 15. Based on these early reports, that's likely the best case scenario for his return.
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