Ravens defense bracing for expected return of Chargers running back Melvin Gordon

The Ravens have surrendered 100 rushing yards to only one opponent this season, and that happened more than a month ago when Steelers running back James Conner ran for 107 yards in Pittsburgh’s 23-16 win Nov. 4.

The defense will try to prevent the Los Angeles ChargersMelvin Gordon from reaching that mark in Saturday night’s game at the StubHub Center. Gordon, who rushed for 1,105 yards and eight touchdowns last season, is expected to return after sitting out the past three games because of a sprained MCL in his right knee.

“He’s a good back,” Ravens strong safety Tony Jefferson said after Tuesday’s walkthrough. “He’s fast, strong. But I think for us, we’ve just got to stop the run regardless of who’s back there. I know that he’s a little banged up or has been. We’ve just got to play good defense and stop the run.”

Despite his absence, Gordon still ranks 16th in the NFL in rushing yards with 802 and has nine touchdown runs. With Gordon, the Chargers ran for 137 yards per game. Without him, that average dipped to 84 yards.

Gordon, who suffered the knee injury in a 45-10 rout of the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 25, worked out before last Thursday’s game at the Kansas City Chiefs, but was sidelined. He practiced fully Tuesday, and coach Anthony Lynn sounded optimistic that Gordon will be available for Saturday’s game against a Ravens defense that ranks third against the run.

“He’s getting better and better,” Lynn said during a conference call with Baltimore media. “He looked good.”



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