Way back in Week 3 of the preseason, Branden Oliver -- then the San Diego Chargers' No. 3 running back -- went down for the season with a torn Achilles. He was placed on Injured Reserve soon after, but at the time, it didn't seem like that big a deal. The Chargers still had the Melvin Gordon-Danny Woodhead combination ahead of him.
Two weeks later, though, Woodhead was lost for the year as well. He tore his ACL while being tackled on the Chargers' third drive of Week 2. All of a sudden, the Chargers were down to just Gordon in the backfield.
They signed Dexter McCluster to take over some of Woodhead's work, but less than two months later, McCluster was placed on the Non-Football Injury list after fracturing his forearm in a household accident. Gordon was pretty much carrying the load by himself anyway, so again, it wasn't seen as that big a deal.
A couple weeks ago, though, Gordon suffered a sprained knee and a strained hip early in the Chargers' 28-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers. He's been out ever since, and the Chargers have been using rookie Kenneth Farrow as his replacement.
Gordon is still considered day-to-day with his injury, but with the Chargers' season all but over, it doesn't make much sense to risk further injury in Week 17. If he sits, San Diego will incredibly be without its top five running backs for the regular season finale.
Ronnie Hillman -- who was cut by the Broncos just before the start of the season, signed with the Vikings in late September and stayed there for two months before being released and then catching on with San Diego -- is the team's only healthy running back on the active roster. Former Giants running back Andre Williams, who has been on the practice squad, is a candidate to be added to the active roster as well.