Gordon went through pregame workouts wearing a brace on his sprained right knee but could not convince Chargers coach Anthony Lynn and general manager Tom Telesco that he was healthy enough to play.
The Wisconsin product missed his third game in a row and fourth this season. After suffering the injury Nov. 25 against Arizona, Gordon sat out the Chargers' victories this month over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. He also missed the Chargers' 20-19 win over Tennessee in London in Week 7.
The Chargers (10-3) already ruled out fellow running back Austin Ekeler earlier this week because of a concussion and bruised nerve in his neck.
The Chargers also promoted Troymaine Pope from the practice squad to the active roster to serve as depth with Gordon and Ekeler unavailable.
"I've been grinding hard to get back and we're still trying to decide what we're going to do," Gordon said Tuesday. "I know Coach is trying to be careful and doesn't want me to further hurt myself or things like that. So we'll see where that goes, but I'm a lot stronger and more confident than I was last week."
Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane also will miss his third consecutive game as he attends to his daughter Makenna in Omaha, Nebraska, where she is in prenatal intensive care dealing with a heart condition.
For the Chiefs, safety Eric Berry will play his first game of the season after missing 13 with a heel injury. Questionable entering Thursday's contest, receiver Tyreek Hill (heel/wrist) also is active and will start for Kansas City (11-2).
However, Kansas City's other explosive receiver, Sammy Watkins, has been ruled out with a foot injury. Running back Spencer Ware (shoulder, hamstring) and guard Cameron Erving (knee) also are inactive for the Chiefs.
Damien Williams will get the start for the Chiefs with Ware out.