The Denver Broncos are 0-4 for the first time since 1999 but look to begin a turnaround when they visit the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Denver suffered its second two-point setback of the season in Week 4 against Jacksonville, leading to general manager John Elway saying,"We're a little bit behind the 8-ball."
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Denver's last 0-4 start occurred in the first season after Elway's retirement as a player, and current quarterback Joe Flacco believes it is time for all members of the Broncos to give themselves a long look in the mirror. "There's no time to feel sorry for yourself or anything like that," Flacco told reporters. "We're a bunch of men, and you have to handle these situations as such. There's really nothing you can do about it. You can't go back in time and fix this thing and fix that thing." The Chargers have been inconsistent this season and are hoping last week's 20-point win over Miami will be the beginning of a long winning streak. Los Angeles is averaging just 22.5 points per game despite quarterback Philip Rivers being tied for third in the NFL with 1,254 passing yards and star wideout Keenan Allen leading the league with 452 receiving yards and tied for the most receptions with 34.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chargers -6.5. O/U: 44.5
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (0-4): Denver hasn't forced a turnover yet this season and linebacker Von Miller finally recorded his first two sacks of the year in Week 4 to become the sixth-fastest player (124 games) to reach 100. But the Broncos suffered a huge blow when defensive end Bradley Chubb (13 sacks in 20 career games) suffered a torn ACL in his left knee that will cost him the rest of the season. Flacco (1,076 yards, five touchdowns) completed a season-low 57.9 percent of his passes against the Jaguars but recorded season bests of 303 yards and three touchdowns.
ABOUT THE CHARGERS (2-2): Two-time Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon will be active this week after a three-game holdout and being rendered inactive last Sunday and will split the workload with Austin Ekeler, who has recorded 220 rushing yards, 270 receiving yards and a league-best six total touchdowns. "I have no problem rolling Austin in there with Melvin," coach Anthony Lynn told reporters. "And Melvin, his reps will be limited. I can't put him in there running 30 times. We'll work him in gradually." Cornerback Desmond King registered a career-best 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble in Week 4 while the unit waits on defensive ends Joey Bosa (two sacks) and Melvin Ingram (one) to step up their production.
1. The AFC West rivals split their two meetings last season, but the Broncos have won 12 of the last 16 matchups.
2. Denver signed former Chargers OLB Jeremiah Attaochu with the hope his pass-rushing skills can help soften the loss of Chubb.
3. Los Angeles signed K Chase McLaughlin and placed WR Dontrelle Inman (quadriceps) on injured reserve.
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Key Players to Watch
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Los Angeles Chargers
- HamstringQues Sun | questionable
Williams exited the last game due to a hamstring injury, and it remains to be seen if he will play Sunday against the Buccaneers.
- GroinQues Sun | questionable
Vigil was held out of the last game with a groin injury, and it is uncertain if he will take part in Sunday's showdown against the Buccaneers.
- IllnessQues Sun | questionable
Parham Jr. has sat out the previous two games due to an illness, and it is unknown if he will draw back into the lineup versus the Buccaneers on Sunday.
- KneeOut indefinitely | I-R
Ingram III is on the injured reserve list due to a knee injury, and it is unknown when the team will activate him.
- ShoulderOut indefinitely | I-R
Jones has been assigned to the injured reserve list due to a shoulder injury, and it is uncertain when the team will activate him.
- GroinQues Sun | questionable
Turner was absent from the lineup during the previous game with a groin injury, and it is undetermined if he will dress for Sunday's clash with the Buccaneers.
- QuadricepQues Sun | questionable
Jackson has missed the past two games due to an injured quad, and it is unclear if he will return Sunday against the Buccaneers.
- FaceQues Sun | questionable
Adderley left the previous game with a facial injury, and it is up in the air if he will face the Buccaneers on Sunday.
- NeckDoub Thurs | doubtful
Flacco has been activated from the PUP list while recuperating from a disc repair surgery in his neck. He is unlikely to make his season debut Thursday against the Broncos.
- WristProb Thurs | probable
Marshall is hampered by a wrist injury, but he is projected to be in Thursday's lineup versus the Jets.
- ShinOut indefinitely | I-R
Wilkinson has been ticketed for the injured reserve list due to a shin injury, and it is unknown when he will come back.
- ToeDoub Thurs | doubtful
Lindsay is sidelined due to turf toe, and he is not expected to return to action against the Jets on Thursday.
- AnkleProb Thurs | probable
Okwuegbunam has missed the past three games due to an ankle injury, but he is likely to make his season debut Thursday versus the Jets.
- HamstringQues Thurs | questionable
Harris sat out the previous game due to a hamstring injury, and it is up in the air if he will take the field against the Jets on Thursday.
- BicepI-R | I-R
Casey has been entered on the injured reserve list due to a biceps tear.
- NeckProb Thurs | probable
Harris is nursing injuries to his neck and quad. It is anticipated that he will be available Thursday against the Jets.