Gordon was injured in the second quarter after taking a blow to his left knee during a run. After being evaluated by trainers, Gordon stood up, walked off the field and headed to the locker room. He did not return to the game.
Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said Gordon suffered cartilage damage that will require surgery, and the team will run further tests to evaluate how to move forward. McCoy said Gordon would not have healed in time to return to action with only two games left for the Chargers against the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos.
Gordon finished the season with 641 rushing yards on 184 carries, averaging 3.5 yards per carry. He also had 33 receptions for 192 yards.
Overall, Gordon did not produce to the level expected of a running back selected in the first round. The Chargers gave up a fourth-round selection in this year's draft and a fifth-rounder in 2016 to move up two spots, selecting Gordon with the No. 15 overall pick.
Gordon was benched twice by McCoy for fumbling and finished with six fumbles this season, losing four of them. He also had no touchdowns.
"Did he have any big, explosive touchdown runs? No," McCoy said. "That's something that he has the ability to do. But I think it really comes down to everybody doing their jobs better, and not just Melvin Gordon.
"It's not a one-man show, but everybody else has to do their job better, and he has to do his job better on certain things. He's got a bright future. He's a very talented player."
With Gordon out, Donald Brown takes over as the every-down back for the Chargers. Brown finished with 90 yards on 12 carries, including a 53-yard run, in relief duty for Gordon in a 30-14 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.