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NFL News and Notes: Gordon Ends Holdout

As teams prepare for Week 4 of the NFL’s schedule, we are starting to get to the point in the season where we separate the pretenders from the contenders. Numerous teams have big games this week including the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Chargers and others. Speaking of the Chargers, let’s look at some news coming out of their camp as well as news coming out from the rest of the NFL.

Gordon Ends Holdout

The Los Angeles Chargers received some good news over the last couple days as star running back Melvin Gordon returned to the team, ending his holdout. Gordon, who has been seeking either a new deal or a trade, held out the entire preseason and through the first three weeks of this season. Still, the star running back knew he would eventually have to come back as if he didn’t report this season his contract would just be pushed back a season and he would have to go through the entire frustration again next season.

While Gordon likely still wants an extension, he appears ready to join his team and get back to football. In fact, reports indicate that he may be good to go to suit up in Week 4 as the Chargers face off with the Miami Dolphins.

Although the Chargers come into this week 1-2, they have gotten at least respectable production out of the running back role. Austin Ekeler, who has filled in as the lead back in Gordon’s absence, has rushed 38 times for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He has also caught 19 passes for 208 yards and an additional two touchdowns. Justin Jackson has also gotten into the action, having rushed 18 times for 142 yards.

Regardless, the Chargers will likely start to transition back to Gordon as he rejoins the team. Last season, Gordon rushed 175 times for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also caught 50 passes for 490 yards and another four touchdowns. In the long run, that will be production that the Chargers will be happy to get back and the fact that they know they have solid production in Ekeler as a backup makes them all the more dangerous.

Barkley To Miss Foreseeable Future

New York Giants fans knew that this might be a year of change. Some of that change has already happened including the displacement of likely Hall-of-Fame quarterback Eli Manning with newly drafted Daniel Jones.

One change they didn’t anticipate was that of their running back, but for the time being, that is exactly what they have to expect.

Saquan Barkley, one of the league’s most dynamic running backs, will likely be out four to eight weeks as he recovers from a high ankle sprain. With it very likely that the Giants won’t contend and the fact that their bye week is in Week 11, it is very possible that New York will keep him on the sidelines until Week 11.

It is frustrating as Barkley was off to a nice start. In 37 rushing attempts, he had gone for 237 yards (an average of an impressive 6.4 yards per attempt). He had also rushed for a touchdown. Through the air, he had 11 receptions for another 74 yards.

Sadly, this is just one more blow for a New York Giants team that has struggled to compete in recent years. Last year, Barkley had rushed 261 times for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also led the team in receptions with 91 catches for 721 yards and an additional four touchdowns.

In Barkley’s absence, Wayne Gallman will likely get the lion’s share of the carries. Thus far this season he has seven rushes for 30 yards and a touchdown.

Newton Also Out

Like Barkley, it appears that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will also be out for the foreseeable future. Newton has been dealing with an injury to his foot. He originally sustained the injury in the preseason but has reinjured it while trying to fight through the pain in the regular season. It has been a pretty frustrating start to the season for Carolina, having lost their first two games, 30-27 to the Los Angeles Rams and 20-14 to Tampa Bay. They did win 38-20 last week against the Arizona Cardinals, but they will have their hands full against the Houston Texans this week.

Through the first two weeks, Cam Newton was 50 for 89 for 572 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. He also took six sacks in those two games. On the ground, it was also easy to tell that Newton wasn’t completely right as he rushed just five times for -2 yards.

In his absence, the Carolina Panthers will turn to Kyle Allen. In last week’s win, Allen had a nice game, going 19 for 26 for 261 yards and four touchdowns. Still, he was playing a relatively inefficient Arizona defense and may have a harder time this week. Ultimately, Carolina will hope that Allen can keep them afloat and that Newton will be able to come back healthy and ready to go later this season.

Ramsey Still Hoping For Trade

While the Jacksonville Jaguars really would like to keep their star cornerback, it appears that Jalen Ramsey is still pushing for the team to trade him. Interestingly, it was reported that Jaguars owner Shad Khan has said he is willing to pony up the money to make Ramsey the highest-paid cornerback in the league, but that still isn’t enough to get Ramsey to want to stay. If he is moved, there will be no shortage of teams wanting to pursue the 24-year-old, and rumors say the Kansas City Chiefs could be among the frontrunners. Regardless, it is a story worth watching as we move closer to the NFL trade deadline.

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