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Austin Ekeler

Austin Ekeler

Running Back #30
ADP:Round: 2, Pick: 12
Team: Los Angeles Chargers
Ht / Wt:5'9" / 191 lb.
College:Western State (CO)
Age:25
Born:May 17, 1995
Drafted:2017 / UDFA

Austin Ekeler: Suffers concussion Sunday

Ekeler won't return to Sunday's game at Kansas City due to a concussion.

Analysis: Ekeler took a hit to the helmet near the end of the first half, which resulted in a concussion and an end to his fourth year as a pro. He previously sat out Weeks 5 through 11 due to a Grade 2 hamstring strain and a hyperextended knee. Despite making just 10 appearances this season, Ekeler averaged 4.6 YPC en route to 530 yards on the ground, hauled in 54 of 66 targets for 403 yards and scored three touchdowns. Per 16 games, his line equates to 1,493 yards from scrimmage and 4.8 TDs, so he should be a top-notch RB option once the 2021 campaign rolls around.

January 3, 2021 3:13 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Finds end zone in win

Ekeler carried the ball 10 times for 45 yards and caught all three of his targets for 23 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 19-16 win over the Broncos.

Analysis: He accounted for the Chargers' only TD of the afternoon in the second quarter on a nine-yard toss from Justin Herbert, helping the quarterback set a new NFL rookie record for touchdown passes in a season. Despite the score -- his first since returning to action in Week 12 -- Ekeler otherwise had his second straight fairly quiet performance, and he's only seen seven targets over the last two games combined, limiting his production. He'll look to finish the season on a high note in Week 17 against a Kansas City defense that could be resting key personnel after clinching the AFC's No. 1 seed.

December 27, 2020 7:38 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Garners 79 total yards in win

Ekeler (quadriceps) rushed 13 times for 60 yards and secured all four targets for 19 yards in the Chargers' 30-27 overtime win over the Raiders on Thursday night.

Analysis: Ekeler still paced the Chargers backfield in rushing despite entering the game nursing the quadriceps injury, although he frequently had trouble finding running room against a Raiders defense that limited him to 33 yards on 12 carries outside of his game-high 27-yard rush. Ekeler also made his usual solid contributions through the air, recording multiple receptions for the fourth time in as many games since returning from a stint on injured reserve. However, it's worth noting Ekeler's single-game workload on the ground has been capped at 19 carries this season -- a figure he reached back in Week 1 -- and with Kalen Ballage and Justin Jackson serving as proven depth behind him, that trend may continue during a Week 16 divisional battle versus the Broncos on Sunday, Dec. 27.

December 17, 2020 9:34 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Active for Thursday's game

Ekeler (quad) is listed as active for Thursday night's game against the Raiders.

Analysis: Assuming no in-game setbacks, Ekeler is in line to continue to head the Los Angeles backfield Thursday, with Kalen Ballage and Joshua Kelley in reserve. In the team's 20-17 win over the Falcons this past Sunday, Ekeler logged 15 carries for 79 yards and caught all nine of his targets for 67 yards. With the Chargers' wideout corps banged up Thursday, look for Ekeler to continue to provide fantasy value in Week 15, thanks to his utility as a pass-catcher.

December 17, 2020 3:59 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Expected to play Thursday

Ekeler (quad) is expected to play Thursday night against the Raiders, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The report adds that wideouts Keenan Allen (hamstring) and Mike Williams (back) are viewed as game-time decisions for the contest. Either way, Ekeler's status will be confirmed upon the release of the Chargers' inactives prior to Thursday's 8:20 ET kickoff. Assuming he suits up, Ekeler would be in line to continue to head the team's Week 15 backfield, with Kalen Ballage and Justin Jackson in reserve.

December 17, 2020 5:33 AM EST

Austin Ekeler: Listed as questionable for TNF

Ekeler (quad) is listed as questionable for Thursday night's game against the Raiders after being listed as limited on Tuesday and Wednesday's practice reports, Gilbert Manzano of The Orange County Register reports.

Analysis: The same applies to wideouts Keenan Allen (hamstring) and Mike Williams (back), with the trio's Week 15 status slated to be confirmed upon the release of the Chargers' inactives prior to Thursday's 8:20 ET kickoff. While it would surprise us if Ekeler didn't play, if he ends up limited or out, Kalen Ballage and Justin Jackson would be next up for the team's carries.

December 16, 2020 2:12 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Upgrades to limited

Ekeler (quadricep) was limited on Tuesday's estimated injury report.

Analysis: The Chargers have yet to hold practice this week, but Ekeler's upgrade from DNP on Monday to LP on Tuesday bodes well for his availability for Week 15. Wednesday's injury report will reveal whether he's clear of his hamstring issue or has a designation ahead of Thursday's contest at Las Vegas.

December 15, 2020 2:09 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Non-participant on practice estimate

Ekeler (quad) was listed as a non-participant on Monday's practice estimate.

Analysis: Ekeler was one of 12 players listed as "DNP" by the Chargers on Monday's estimate, so it won't be until the team takes the field for a standard practice that we'll get a handle on which players are in any danger of missing Thursday night's game against the Raiders. Ekeler logged 44 of a possible 73 snaps on offense in Sunday's 20-17 win over the Falcons, en route to carrying 15 times for 79 yards and catching all nine of his targets for 67 yards. Next up for backfield touches if he's limited at all or out in Week 15 are Kalen Ballage and Justin Jackson.

December 14, 2020 2:19 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Tops 140 total yards

Ekeler carried the ball 15 times for 79 yards and also caught all nine of his targets for 67 yards in the 20-17 win Sunday over the Falcons.

Analysis: The Chargers relied heavily on a variety of different screens fairly early in the contest allowing Ekeler to rack up the targets. A mundane offensive approach didn't really corral the speedy back, but it definitely hampered the team's ability to score as the Chargers were in the red zone just twice all afternoon. Since returning from a six-game absence, Ekeler has immediately returned to his featured role with Kalen Ballage essentially operating as the obvious run-only spell back. Expect more of the same in another juicy matchup, this time against the porous Raiders defense.

December 13, 2020 5:15 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Usage wanes in blowout

Ekeler carried eight times for 36 yards and caught four of nine targets for 32 yards during Sunday's 45-0 loss to the Patriots.

Analysis: Ekeler averaged a respectable 4.5 yards per carry but saw his carries limited by the surprising blowout nature of the game. Although he tied for second on the team in targets, he hauled in less than half the balls thrown his way and saw his output limited in that regard as well. Ekeler was coming off an excellent performance in his previous outing and will look to bounce back next Sunday in what could be a high-scoring game against the Falcons.

December 6, 2020 5:45 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Explosive in return from injury

Ekeler (hamstring) carried the ball 14 times for 44 yards and also caught 11 of his 16 targets for 85 yards in the 27-17 loss Sunday to the Bills.

Analysis: It quickly became apparent the pre-game report suggesting Ekeler would not be the team's bell-cow was misdirection, as the talented back was the main catalyst on the team's first scoring drive of the game. It's hard to imagine the Chargers planned to give Ekeler a whopping 16 targets in his first game back after a nearly two month absence, but an early deficit essentially forced a pass-heavy game script for most of the contest. A seven-carry advantage over backup Joshua Kelley mimicked the type of split the Chargers deployed earlier in the season, so it's safe to say Ekeler is back to being one of the top fantasy running backs, especially in PPR leagues.

November 29, 2020 2:04 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: May not fill true bell-cow role

Ekeler (hamstring) is active for Sunday's game against the Bills, but the Chargers aren't planning on him filling a bell-cow role while he dresses for the first time since Week 4, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Though Ekeler is believed to be fully healthy again after missing two months with the serious hamstring injury, he only resumed practicing with the Chargers this week. With that in mind, the Chargers may be inclined to take a cautious approach with the 25-year-old, who played 65.1 percent of the team's offensive snaps and averaged 21 touches over his first three outings of the season before getting hurt. Top backup Kalen Ballage (ankle/calf) is inactive Sunday, so Joshua Kelley or Troymaine Pope will be the candidates to rotate in whenever Ekeler requires a breather. Ekeler should still see a robust enough workload to make for a reasonable starting options in most fantasy leagues.

November 29, 2020 9:33 AM EST

Austin Ekeler: Could share work in return

Ekeler (hamstring) will play in Sunday's game against the Bills after being activated from injured reserve, but the Chargers aren't expecting him to fill a bell-cow role in his first game since Week 4, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Though Ekeler is believed to be fully healthy again after missing two months with the serious hamstring injury, he only resumed practicing with the Chargers this week. With that in mind, the Chargers may be inclined to take a cautious approach with the 25-year-old, who played 65.1 percent of the team's offensive snaps and averaged 21 touches over his first three outings of the season before getting hurt. Top backup Kalen Ballage (ankle/calf) is viewed as game-time decision for Sunday, so Joshua Kelley or Troymaine Pope would be next in line to rotate in behind Ekeler if Ballage can't go.

November 29, 2020 5:25 AM EST

Austin Ekeler: Moves off injured reserve

Ekeler (hamstring) was activated off injured reserve Saturday.

Analysis: This is an incredibly encouraging development, however coach Anthony Lynn hasn't exactly been adamant Ekeler would play even if he was activated. Perhaps accelerating the timeline is the status of Kalen Ballage (ankle), who is listed as questionable for Sunday's game, but only managed to practice in limited fashion at any point throughout the week. Expect more clarity regarding Ekeler's playing time to emerge sometime in the lead up to Sunday's 1:00 p.m. ET kickoff.

November 28, 2020 1:22 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: May return Sunday

Coach Anthony Lynn said Ekeler (hamstring) has "a chance" to be activated from injured reserve before Sunday's game at Buffalo, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: The Chargers opened Ekeler's 21-day practice window this week, indicating he was close to completing his recovery from a left hamstring injury suffered Week 4. He's missed six games as a result, and the team will need to make a decision on whether or not he'll miss a seventh by Saturday afternoon. Even if he's able to play Sunday, it'll be interesting to see the breakdown of reps out of the backfield. Kalen Ballage (ankle) is questionable for the contest, so Ekeler has a chance to retake the No. 1 role right away if L.A. deems him to be ready for such a workload.

November 27, 2020 11:36 AM EST

Austin Ekeler: Set to resume practice

Ekeler (hamstring) will practice Wednesday, Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Analysis: Once Ekeler hits the practice field, the Chargers will have a 21-day window to place the running back on their active roster. Though his imminent return to work is a positive development, coach Anthony Lynn isn't sure at this stage if Ekeler will suit up Sunday against the Bills. With Justin Jackson (knee) on IR, Kalen Ballage has headed the Chargers' ground game of late.

November 25, 2020 10:54 AM EST

Austin Ekeler: Will practice this week

The Chargers will designate Ekeler (hamstring) to return from injured reserve this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Ekeler has been on injured reserve since suffering a severe hamstring injury in Week 4 against the Buccaneers. A return to practice this week means that the 25-year-old running back may be ready to play in this Sunday's game against the Bills, although the team is exercising caution with that timeline. The transaction will become official once Ekeler takes the practice field with his teammates.

November 24, 2020 11:17 AM EST

Austin Ekeler: Week 12 return expected

Daniel Popper of The Athletic expects Ekeler (hamstring/knee) to return in Week 12.

Analysis: Ekeler has progressed to straight-line running in his recovery, and barring a setback, could be back in two weeks against the Bills. A Week 12 return would represent an eight-week layoff since the diminutive running back for hurt against the Buccaneers in Week 4. With fellow running back Justin Jackson (knee) also sidelined, Troymaine Pope (neck), Joshua Kelley and practice squad call-up Kalen Ballage should continue to split reps in the Chargers' backfield while Ekeler recovers.

November 13, 2020 12:57 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Progresses to running

Ekeler (hamstring/knee) has progressed to straight-line running, per the running back's personal Instagram.

Analysis: Ekeler has been sidelined since suffering a Grade 2 hamstring strain and hyperextended knee in his left leg Week 4. Expected to be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks, the latter end of that timetable coincides with this Sunday, but the Chargers have yet to open his 21-day window to be activated from IR. Still, because Ekeler noted "the time draws near" in his social media post, he appears to be closing in on his return to action.

November 12, 2020 5:47 PM EST

Austin Ekeler: Not close to return

Coach Anthony Lynn said Wednesday that Ekeler (hamstring) will be back "later rather than sooner," Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Ekeler remains without an official timetable to return from his hamstring injury, which Lynn called "very serious." The versatile running back will technically be eligible to return from IR as soon as the Chargers' Week 8 matchup in Denver, but Lynn's comments hint that he could be more likely to recover around the latter portion of his estimated four-to-six week rehab period. In the meantime, Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley will continue to spearhead Los Angeles' rushing attack.

October 21, 2020 12:34 PM EST

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