Austin Ekeler’s admission about how his role has changed with Chargers
With Melvin Gordon gone, Austin Ekeler is now officially the Los Angeles Chargers‘ featured back. Not only that, but on a rebuilding team, he is actually an elder statesman.
Ekeler, who originally joined the Chargers as an undrafted free agent out of Western State in 2017, has used his experience to help the younger players on his squad:
“Right now, I feel like my role has changed to help these younger guys,” said Ekeler, according to Chris Hayre of the Chargers’ team website. “I’m just so open and so willing to share my story and what I did, and how I had success with it. And I think that’s the most important part is that I did see success, so that’s why people are attracted to me and how open I am to talk to you as a person.”
Ekeler also became quite the rich man this offseason, agreeing to a four-year, $24.5 million contract extension with Los Angeles.
The 25-year-old is coming off of a 2019 campaign in which he played every game and registered 557 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 4.2 yards per carry. In addition, he hauled in 92 receptions for 993 yards and eight scores.
Ekeler’s rookie year was relatively quiet, as he rushed for 260 yards and a couple of touchdowns while catching 27 passes for 279 yards and three scores.
He then showed significant promise in his sophomore season, finishing with 554 yards and three touchdowns while logging 5.2 yards per attempt. He also snared 39 balls for 404 yards and three scores as a receiver.
The Chargers went 5-11 this past year.