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Chargers activate Melvin Gordon, paying way for running back to play in limited role vs. Dolphins

Melvin Gordon is set to play in the Chargers‘ Week 4 matchup in Miami against the Dolphins after the team activated him on Saturday. He won’t however, receive the typical amount of touches he is accustomed to receiving in his first game back after sitting out the season’s first three games. 

On Saturday, USA Today’s Mike Jones reported that the Chargers plan to play Gordon on a limited snap count during Sunday’s game. Austin Ekeler, the team’s leading rusher and second leading receiver through three games, will likely continue to receive the bulk of Los Angeles’ carries during Sunday’s game. Justin Jackson, who is averaging a team best 7.9 yards per carry, should also continue to be utilized on Sunday. 

Gordon, a Pro Bowler two of the past three seasons, recently explained why he decided to rejoin the Chargers at this point in the season. Los Angeles, a team that advanced to the divisional round of the AFC playoffs last season, are just 1-2 this season heading into Sunday’s game. 

“You don’t want to get into a big hole,” Gordon said. “You work the whole offseason to be in a good position to make the playoffs. That’s the whole goal. I had to come back at some point. Obviously, you come back and you’re raking in what you expect. The whole work in the offseason, really, was for nothing. So I just want to come back and help, and help contribute.”

The 15th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Gordon, who enjoyed a prolific career at the University of Wisconsin, has rushed for 3,628 yards and 28 touchdowns in 58 career games with the Chargers. He has also caught 182 passes for 1,577 yards and 10 scores while quickly blossoming into one of the NFL‘s most complete running backs. 

Despite his production, Gordon was unable to receive a longterm contract this past offseason. His 2020 market value, according to Spotrac, is an estimated four-year deal worth just over $47 million. Gordon is likely seeking a contract similar to the one Le’Veon Bell signed with the New York Jets this past offseason. Bell, who sat out the entire 2018 season after failing to come to terms on a longterm deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, inked a four-year, $52.5 million contract that included $35 million guaranteed. 

The Chargers probably won’t need a big contribution from Gordon to win Sunday’s game against an 0-3 Dolphins team that has been outscored 133-16 this season. Los Angeles is a 14.5-point favorite for Sunday’s game. 

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