The Chargers are reportedly likely to start rookie tailbacks Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome against the Chiefs.
The Chargers are reportedly not optimistic that starting running back Melvin Gordon and backup Austin Ekeler will be healthy ahead of Thursday night's matchup with the Chiefs, according to NFL Network's Steve Wyche.
Gordon has missed each of Los Angeles' past two games due to a sprained MCL. On Monday, the Chargers announced that Ekeler, who started in Gordon's stead, was placed in concussion protocol after suffering a neck injury last week.
With both of its starting tailbacks seemingly unlikely to play Thursday, Los Angeles is expected to turn to rookies Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome to assume backfield reps.
Jackson, undrafted out of Northwestern, rushed seven times for 12 yards and caught two passes for 23 yards in last week's victory against the Bengals. He's rushed 27 times this season for 139 yards and one touchdown.
Newsome went undrafted out of Western Carolina. He has not registered a rushing attempt since Week 12 against the Cardinals, when he logged four carries for 15 yards in Los Angeles' 45–10 win.
Kickoff for Thursday's AFC West battle is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET.