Oct. 9, 3:09pm: Ekeler has been placed on IR, the team announced.
Oct. 5, 2:12pm: Ekeler is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with the injury, Schefter tweets. He notes Ekeler is seeking a second opinion on the injury and the timetable, although it sounds like injured reserve is a near certainty at this point.
Oct. 5, 11:39am: The Chargers collapsed like only they (and maybe the Falcons) know how to do, blowing a 17-point lead against the Buccaneers. The bad news doesn’t stop there however, as it looks like they’ll be without running back Austin Ekeler for a while.
Ekeler suffered a hyperextended knee and hamstring injury that will cause him to miss multiple weeks, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The severity won’t be known until an MRI on Monday, but it sounds like a trip to injured reserve (minimum three games) is a possibility. Ekeler pulled up lame and looked to be in loads of pain, needing to be carted off. The Chargers are expected to place Ekeler on IR, but they’ll wait until a full analysis is completed before making the call (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport).
It’s yet another brutal blow for a Chargers team that has yet again been besieged by injuries. They’re currently down multiple starters on the offensive line, receiver Mike Williams missed Sunday’s game, and a handful of starters on defense are hurt.
Los Angeles has come very close to winning every game, yet now sit at 1-3 through four weeks. Stop us if you’ve heard that one before. Ekeler was handling by far the biggest workload of his career this season after the Chargers moved on from Melvin Gordon. A dynamic pass-catcher as well as runner, he had 11 receptions in Week 3 against the Panthers.
The unheralded former undrafted free agent had 557 yards and three touchdowns on the ground last year, adding another 993 and eight through the air. The Western Colorado product signed a four-year, $24.5MM pact with the Chargers back in March, so thankfully he’s financially secure. Rookie fourth-rounder Joshua Kelley from UCLA and Justin Jackson will carry the load in his absence.