We know that the latest Austin Ekeler injury update is that the running back won’t play in the Los Angeles Chargers Week 3 game against the Minnesota Vikings with an ankle sprain, but while he hoped to come back in Week 4 against the Las Vegas Raiders, it may make the most sense to sit that game out as well.
“[The Chargers] are going to have to do it again today without running back Austin Ekeler, who is out because of his ankle sprain,” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Sunday. “I am told it is a higher type of an ankle sprain for Austin Ekeler. He is still considered week-to-week. I’m told Ekeler is hopeful he’ll be able to play next week against the Raiders, but with a Week 5 bye looing, they may decide to err on the side of caution.”
#Chargers RB Austin Ekeler is hopeful to play next week after dealing with a higher-type ankle sprain. But with a Week 5 bye looming, they could opt for more rest. Josh Kelly remains the lead back today at Minnesota. @NFLGameDay @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/o3gdsHv7jI
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 24, 2023
Ekeler is a huge loss for the 0-2 Chargers, who need all the help they can get. The RB has put up over 3,100 yards in the last two seasons, and his 38 touchdowns lead the NFL in that time. However, keeping Ekeler out until he is fully healthy is the best long-term decision.
While Ekeler sits out, veteran Joshua Kelley, second-year back Isaiah Spiller, and undrafted rookie Elijah Dotson will take the carries for Los Angeles.
In the Chargers Week 3 and Week 4 games, the RBs could have big days. The Vikings and Raiders have given up the fifth- and seventh-most rushing yards, respectively, this season, and Kelley, Spiller, and Dotson could take advantage of that after this latest Austin Ekeler injury update.