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Chiefs’ Melvin Gordon could prove valuable — whether he plays on Sunday or not

Kansas City’s newest running back brings experience and professionalism to a patchwork backfield.

Syndication: The Tennessean Andrew Nelles / / USA TODAY NETWORK

Whether he’s in cleats or holding a proverbial clipboard, the Kansas City Chiefs say new running back Melvin Gordon will bring invaluable experience to the position group.

With a rushing attack now led by 22-year-old rookie Isiah Pacheco, Gordon’s behind-the-scenes role as a cagey veteran could pay dividends on game days.

“Him [making] it this far in this game is very hard to do,” Pacheco said of Gordon on Thursday

The eighth-year veteran was signed to Kansas City’s practice squad on November 29. He has 6,462 career rushing yards over 108 games with the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos.

With 2020’s first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire on the team’s injured reserve list with a sprained ankle, Gordon arrives in Kansas City as an elder statesman of sorts — flanked by seventh-year journeyman Jerrick McKinnon and fifth-year veteran Ronald Jones.

According to offensive staff, Gordon’s impact is being felt immediately — whether that’s by contributing on the field or helping the starter in his studies.

“[I’m] just looking at those older guys [who have been] able to do it,” noted Pacheco. “[I’m] just continuing to pick up little details from them to help me in the long run.”

“I think he upgrades the talent level,” said offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. “Melvin brings a lot of playing experience. But on top of that, he’s a heck of a kid — and he’s a heck of a player.”

In 2022, ball security issues have plagued the two-time Pro Bowler. The Broncos released Gordon after their Week 11 overtime loss — in which he had committed his fifth fumble of the season.

“Obviously, he had a tough year this year,” acknowledged Bieniemy. “But sometimes without any bad luck, you wouldn’t have any good luck at all.”

According to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, that good luck could see the former Bronco suit up sooner, rather than later.

“Yeah, there’s that chance,” said Reid. “We’re fairly healthy there, but I’m glad we have him here… He does a nice job for us.”

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