Chargers could look to Melvin Gordon as a receiver more often

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The loss of tight end Hunter Henry to a torn ACL has led to questions about whether the Chargers will bring Antonio Gates back for another season to bolster their passing offense.

They have resisted such a move to this point and part of the reason may be their confidence in running back Melvin Gordon. Gordon only caught 22 passes during his time at the University of Wisconsin, but had 74 in his first two NFL seasons before moving up to 58 catches last season in a progression that has offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt pointing to the running back as part of the solution to Henry’s absence.

“We can do some different things because Melvin has become such a good receiver out of the backfield,” Whisenhunt said, via ESPN.com. “And that’s not something that you saw from him in college. Not that he couldn’t do it; they just didn’t throw him the ball. He was too busy running for 8 million yards or whatever it was he was running for.”

Gordon’s direction isn’t the only one the Chargers can consider with Henry out of the picture. Even if they stand pat at tight end, they have Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin as targets for Philip Rivers in what still shapes up as a potent offense in Los Angeles.