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SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Chargers rookie running back Melvin Gordon has torn cartilage in his left knee and will miss the final two games of the season.
Gordon was hurt late in the second quarter of Sunday's emotional 30-14 victory against Miami, which might have been the Chargers' last game in San Diego if Dean Spanos can get his fellow owners to approve a move to an industrial suburb of Los Angeles. Gordon was placed on injured reserve on Monday.
Gordon, the team's first-round draft pick, didn't score a touchdown or have a 100-yard game while running behind an inefficient offensive line. He had 29 touchdowns last season at Wisconsin.
Gordon also was benched twice due to fumbles. He lost four of his six fumbles.
San Diego (4-10) has struggled running the ball. It has only three rushing touchdowns this season, all by Danny Woodhead. Woodhead ran for two touchdowns in a season-opening win against Detroit, and a San Diego back didn't find the end zone again until Woodhead had a rushing TD in Sunday's 30-14 victory.
Woodhead also caught three touchdown passes from Philip Rivers for his first career four-touchdown game.
Coach Mike McCoy said Gordon has some "outstanding" runs Sunday.
"But then there is another play or two where you say, 'Hey, you've got to put your foot on the ground and go.'"
When the Chargers moved up in the first round to select Gordon, general manager Tom Telesco said the back had "home-run ability" and was an impact player.
Instead, he never found the end zone.
"Did he have any big explosive touchdown runs? No. That's something that he has the ability to do," McCoy said. "But I think really it goes down to everybody doing their jobs better, and not just Melvin Gordon. It's not just a one-man show. But he's got a bright future. He's a very talented player."
The Chargers visit Oakland on Thursday night still looking for their first victory against an AFC West rival this season. The Raiders embarrassed the Chargers in San Diego in October, racing to a 37-6 lead in the third quarter before settling for a 37-29 win.
The owners of the once-bitter rivals have partnered for a proposed stadium in Carson. They're trying to win the race to L.A. against St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who has proposed a stadium in Inglewood.
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