Now in his fourth NFL season, Gordon is expected to return from a sprained knee Saturday night against the Baltimore Ravens in the Chargers’ next-to-last game before the playoffs. The Ravens defense leads the league in yards and points allowed and ranks No. 3 against the run.
“It’s going to be tough,” Gordon said. “But we’re going to go out there and knock off some rust and get myself ready for the playoffs.”
He sat out the last three games after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee Nov. 25.
Gordon was close to returning last Thursday against the Chiefs but was unable to convince coach Anthony Lynn of his readiness during a pregame workout. Lynn had told Gordon the previous night that he was leaning toward not playing him.
“He was just trying to look out for what’s best for me and what’s best for the team,” Gordon said. “He felt it would be selfish to put me out there and something potentially happens and [they] lose me for the rest of the year.”
“It’s dope, man,” Gordon said of qualifying for the playoffs. “I feel like I’m built for them type of games. That’s why I play football. It’s your squad versus my squad. Loser goes home. I like it like that.”
Henry is back
About seven months after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, tight end Hunter Henry returned to practice.
He remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list and doesn’t count toward the team’s 53-man roster limit. The Chargers have 21 days to determine if they want to activate him.
“It’s a long process, for sure,” Henry said. “But I’ve tried to attack it from the get-go. I feel good.”
Andy Reid entrusted the Kansas City Chiefs offense to an inexperienced quarterback who has thrived under his guidance. Bill O’Brien got the Houston Texans on track after a slow start. Matt Nagy has taken the Chicago Bears from last place to first in the NFC North.
Still considered a piece of the franchise’s future, he said he is weighing a desire to return as quickly as possible against a more cautious approach regarding the rest of his NFL career.
“You don’t get [to be on] a team like this a lot,” Henry said. “I’ve already seen that in just two years of being here. You gotta take advantage of trying to get back out there.”
Mebane expected to play
Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane rejoined the Chargers and expects to play Saturday. He sat out the last four games tending to his infant daughter, Makenna, who was born with Trisomy 13, a chromosome disorder.
She had emergency surgery for an intestinal infection last week in Omaha. Mebane said she is stable but will require more surgeries.
“The biggest thing is, thank God, she is still here and recovering,” he said. “Things are a lot better.”
Mebane thanked the Spanos family, which owns the team, for providing the use of a private jet to make the trip.
“That was a blessing for them to do that,” he said. “I was like, ‘Wow.’ It wasn’t my first time on a private jet. But it was something they didn’t have to do, and they did it.”
Wide receiver Keenan Allen (hip) did not practice Monday during the portion open to the media. His status remains in doubt for the game Saturday. Allen was injured in the first half at Kansas City. … Tight end Sean Culkin (back) also was not practicing when the media was present.