After the Chargers' riveting win over the Chiefs last Thursday both teams are tied atop the division. The Chargers are expected to get Melvin Gordon (knee) back from injury after he participated fully in Tuesday’s practice. Gordon said he’s healthy enough to play this week against the Ravens but doesn’t feel 100 percent. HC Anthony Lynn thought otherwise and believed Gordon was playing at “full speed” during Tuesday’s session making it likely he suits up this week against the Ravens. If Gordon plays, he will be a locked and loaded RB1 despite the tough matchup.
From a football standpoint, in Gordon’s absence the Chargers Offense has seen a significant dip in rushing success rate, 52.1 percent to 42.6 percent, but saw an increase in multiple passing metrics. In this split, Philip Rivers’ yards per passing attempt is a full yard higher and his passing success rate is up nearly seven percent (TheQuantEdge.com). The offense has also scored point totals of 33 > 26 > 29 in the three games Gordon missed this season. Similar to Le’Veon Bell’s absence for the Steelers, while it would make intuitive sense for the offense to take a step forward with Gordon back in the lineup, it may not make as much of an impact as you think.
Editor's Note: If you love Fantasy Football you have to be playing on DRAFT. It's daily fantasy football snake drafts instead of salary caps. All the fun of season long drafts but with no management and they last for just one week. They take minutes to complete and there's even auction drafts! No more setting lineups or constantly worrying about pros, just draft and win! Right now DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers an exclusive FREE entry into a real money draft when you make your first deposit! Here's the link
Cam Newton to be shut down for the rest of the season?
With the Panthers’ brutal loss on Monday, their playoff hopes are all but dashed and FiveThirtyEight.com has quantified their chances of making it at five percent. They are a game and a half out of the final wild card spot and would need everything to break their way the final two weeks in order to make it. With that in mind, Ron Rivera hasn't ruled out shutting down Cam Newton (shoulder) for the season. Newton is clearly hurt and was unable to make a lot of throws he’s normally able to. Even if the Panthers miraculously do make the playoffs, Cam won’t be near 100 percent which makes it difficult to envision a deep playoff run. Considering these factors, it makes plenty of sense for the Panthers to pack it up for the season and rest Newton.
Keenan Allen a game-time decision
After suffering an injury early in last week’s win over the Chiefs there was legitimate concern about Allen’s season. He reportedly didn’t suffer ay structural damage to his hip which is a great sign for his availability but wasn’t able to practice on Tuesday. Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn believes Allen (hip) could end up a game-time decision for Saturday's game against the Ravens. He would be a fringe WR2 if in a tough matchup against the Ravens if he does play.
Pro Bowl Notes
Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay became the first UDFA rookie to make the pro bowl on offense. What’s even more impressive is the fact he had to fend off third-rounder and projected starter Royce Freeman to even have a crack at some production. … The Chargers sent a league-high seven players to the 2019 Pro Bowl. Those players are, WR Keenan Allen, RB Melvin Gordon, DE Melvin Ingram, FS Derwin James, ST Adrian Phillips, QB Philip Rivers, and C Mike Pouncey.
NFL.com's Tom Pelissero reports the Falcons could fire both OC Steve Sarkisian and DC Marquand Manuel. This isn’t all too surprising given the Falcons struggles this season but what’s interesting is the lack of blame directed towards HC Dan Quinn. Coaching changes from the Falcons could greatly impact the players’ fantasy values next season. ... Redskins S Montae Nicholson was arrested and charged with assault and battery and public drunkenness on Tuesday morning. Nicholson reportedly honked at a man and woman which caused unclear further events to unfold. He will likely face consequences from the league. ... DeSean Jackson (thumb) is "hopeful to play" in the Buccaneers' Week 16 game against Dallas. Jackson hasn’t played for three games and most recently wasn’t able to squeeze a football. With the Bucs out of the playoffs, it’s unlikely he will play prior to feeling 100 percent. ... Austin Ekeler (neck, concussion) is not practicing on Tuesday. Ekeler is still yet to clear concussion protocol and will need to do so prior to Thursday in order to have a good chance to play. With Melvin Gordon also likely to return he would reassume his passing role. ... Lions placed DL Da'shawn Hand (knee) on Injured Reserve. Hand was having an impressive rookie season prior to the injury and recorded three sacks, four tackles-for-loss, and two forced fumbles. He’ll be a significant loss to their pass-rush. ... Seahawks signed RB Bo Scarbrough. He’s a name to monitor in the crowded Seattle backfield if Rashaad Penny sits. ... Packers placed Aaron Jones (knee) on Injured Reserve. He suffered a sprained MCL last week against the Bears. This means Jamaal Williams will slide into the lead role in Week 15 against the Jets. ... Packers signed WR Allen Lazard. The former Iowa State standout is someone to monitor if Randall Cobb is unable to clear concussion protocol. ... Falcons promoted RB Jeremy Langford from the practice squad. Since breaking out in Chicago a few years ago, Langford has been bouncing around on practice squads. He’ll now be active with both Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith on Injured Reserve and be Tevin Coleman’s primary backup in Week 16. ... Bills placed RB Marcus Murphy (elbow) on Injured Reserve. He was the Bills third string running back with both LeSean McCoy (Hamstring) and Chris Ivory (shoulder) out. If both are unable to play this week, Keith Ford will take over as the Bills RB1. ... Rams waived PR/KR Pharaoh Cooper. This is surprising after JoJo Natson’s mishaps in week 15. The former All-Pro returner will surely resurface somewhere. … Jordan Reed (ankle, foot) remained sidelined on Tuesday. It’s very unlikely Reed plays again this season. ... Marcus Mariota was limited in Tuesday's practice with a foot issue. This is likely a non-issue but as a new injury it is something to keep an eye on. ... Raiders placed RG Gabe Jackson on injured reserve with an elbow injury, ending his season. He won’t be a big loss for the Raiders as Pro Football Focus has graded him below the league average each of the past two years. ... Rams signed RB C.J. Anderson. Anderson is likely just insurance for the Rams as Todd Gurley is dealing with knee inflammation. If Gurley sits, Anderson would compete for touches with John Kelly and Justin Davis. ... New York Upstate reports free agent Nathan Peterman will work out for the Raiders. Raiders HC Jon Gruden is reportedly “very high” on Peterman’s abilities and may sign him. It’s tough to fathom how anyone could be interested in Peterman after the first two seasons of his career, but here we are. ... Packers placed NT Kenny Clark (elbow) on injured reserve, ending his season. Clark didn’t play last week and with two meaningless games left in the season, the Packers decided to shut it down. He’s a significant loss to their defense for the final two games.