Justin Jackson

Los Angeles Chargers
Running Back #32
Los Angeles Chargers
Running Back #32
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Justin Jackson News

Not listed on injury report

Jackson (groin) was not listed on the injury report ahead of Sunday's contest against the Ravens, Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Analysis: Jackson will be available for Week 6 after being sidelined for Week 5 with an ankle injury. Austin Ekeler will command the majority of the workload, but Jackson should see his usual 10-15 offensive snaps against the Ravens on Sunday.

Oct 15, 2021 1:14 PM EST

Practices as limited participant

Jackson (groin) was a limited participant at practice Wednesday.

Analysis: Jackson was sidelined by the groin injury for Sunday's win over the Browns, so it's a good sign he's taking part in practice ahead of Week 6. The 25-year-old has a couple more days to progress to full participation and potentially avoid an injury designation for this weekend.

Oct 13, 2021 3:39 PM EST

Inactive Sunday

Jackson (groin) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Browns.

Analysis: With Jackson out, Joshua Kelley is in line to serve as the Chargers' No. 3 RB option Sunday behind Austin Ekeler and Larry Rountree. Jackson will now look to bounce back from his injury in time to suit up next weekend against the Ravens.

Oct 10, 2021 11:49 AM EST

Unlikely to play Sunday

Jackson (groin) is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Browns.

Analysis: Jackson started the week with a limited practice but was unable to participate the past two days, so he's trending in the wrong direction heading into the weekend. Joshua Kelley should work as the Chargers' No. 3 tailback behind Austin Ekeler and Larry Rountree with Jackson likely sidelined.

Oct 8, 2021 1:44 PM EST

Not practicing Thursday

Jackson (groin) didn't practice Thursday, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: What Jackson is able to do at practice Friday, if anything, will determine his Week 5 injury status. However, given that he operated as the Chargers' No. 3 back behind behind Austin Ekeler and rookie Larry Rountree in this past Monday's win over the Raiders, en route to finishing with minus-4 yards on three carries and four receptions for 17 yards, his fantasy lineup utility is limited to deeper formats.

Oct 7, 2021 2:36 PM EST

Listed as limited Wednesday

Jackson (groin) was listed as limited in Wednesday's walk-though.

Analysis: We'll circle back on Jackson's status Thursday, but in Monday's win over the Raiders, he operated as the Chargers' No. 3 RB behind behind top back Austin Ekeler and rookie Larry Rountree, en route to recording minus-four yards on three carries and four catches (on as many targets) for 17 yards.

Oct 6, 2021 3:20 PM EST

Just 13 total yards despite win

Jackson lost four yards on three carries and caught all four of his targets for 17 yards in Monday's 28-14 win over the Raiders.

Analysis: In a day dominated by Austin Ekeler, Jackson was essentially relegated to a backup pass catcher out of the backfield, tallying 17 receiving yards on 11 total snaps. Larry Rountree once again cemented his status as the team's preferred short yardage option and seems destined to occupy the larger half of the backfield time share if Ekeler were to miss time.

Oct 5, 2021 11:41 AM EST

Two carries in win

Jackson rushed twice for no gain in Sunday's 30-24 win over the Chiefs.

Analysis: Jackson handled seven offensive snaps. Larry Rountree logged 11, rushed four times for three yards and didn't catch his lone target. Neither running back was particularly effective, and Chargers head coach Brandon Staley would likely utilize a hot-hand approach if Austin Ekeler went down.

Sep 28, 2021 5:49 PM EST

Marginally more snaps in Week 2

Jackson carried the ball four times for 21 yards and also caught his lone target for eight yards in Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Cowboys.

Analysis: Jackson still didn't see his first snaps until the second half, but at least the undrafted free agent out-snapped Larry Rountree albeit by a slim 16 to 10 margin. It appears as if Jackson is more trusted in come-from-behind situations, at least as a substitute for all-world pass catcher Austin Ekeler.

Sep 20, 2021 7:11 PM EST

Sheds injury, returns to practice

Jackson (groin) participated in Tuesday's practice, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: It'll be interesting to see how the Chargers utilize Jackson after the team opted to keep both Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree on the roster, instead releasing talented wide receiver Tyron Johnson as one of the team's final cuts. The Northwestern product had all but locked up the backup job behind Austin Ekeler earlier this preseason, but a multi-week groin injury kept Jackson away for most of training camp allowing Kelley and Rountree to possibly earn more regular-season snaps. The 25-year-old is likely best considered a change-of-pace option out of the backfield as opposed to a true backup to Ekeler, but his true utility within the offense could be even more ambiguous after the latest injury issue.

Aug 31, 2021 5:29 PM EST

Won't practice Tuesday

Jackson (groin) isn't practicing Tuesday, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Jackson reportedly looked like the favorite for the No. 2 RB spot earlier this month, but he's now missing practice for a second week after injuring his groin in the Chargers' preseason opener. Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree both should continue mixing in with the first-team offense behind Austin Ekeler at practice, competing for what could be a decent number of carries.

Aug 24, 2021 2:59 PM EST

Still sidelined

Jackson (groin) is not practicing Friday, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Jackson continues to nurse a groin injury sustained during the Chargers' preseason opener. The team's inaugural depth chart of 2021 listed Jackson as the top backup to Austin Ekeler, but the longer he remains sidelined the more opportunities Joshua Kelley, Larry Rountree and Darius Bradwell will have to compete.

Aug 20, 2021 9:42 AM EST

Listed as top backup

Jackson was listed as the Chargers' top backup running back on the inaugural 2021 depth chart, Gilbert Manzano of The Orange County Register reports.

Analysis: This isn't a complete surprise given the type of language coming out of the Chargers training camp thus far, but it's certainly worth noting given many assumed 2020 fourth-round pick Joshua Kelley would be a shoo-in for the role. The competition between Kelley and Jackson still remains one of the team's top positional battles throughout the preseason, but it certainly appears as if the latter has made a sizable impression with the coaching staff to date.

Aug 9, 2021 6:59 PM EST

Returns from COVID-19 list

Jackson returned to practice Thursday, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Jackson has been cleared to practice after a two-day stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He's competing with Joshua Kelley, Larry Rountree and Darius Bradwell for depth roles behind Austin Ekeler, though the No. 2 running back -- potentially Jackson -- could see quite a few carries. Injuries have limited Jackson, a 2018 seventh-round pick, to 29 games in three seasons with the Chargers.

Jul 29, 2021 8:43 AM EST

Moved to Reserve/COVID-19 list

The Chargers placed Jackson on the COVID-19 reserve list Tuesday, Gilbert Manzano of The Orange County Register reports.

Analysis: Assuming Jackson doesn't take too long to recover, the issue shouldn't really hinder his ability to contribute on offense in 2021. However, Jackson was already set to compete with Joshua Kelley for backup duties behind Austin Ekeler and got some added competition in the form of Larry Rountree. He will start a bit behind his teammates getting up to speed in the new system, which certainly doesn't help his cause.

Jul 27, 2021 4:00 PM EST

Facing additional competition

Jackson faces additional competition for the backup running back job after the Chargers drafted Larry Rountree in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Given the draft capital invested in Joshua Kelley last year, the assumption is the No. 3 RB job likely will come down to Jackson, newcomer Rountree and long-time practice squad candidate Darius Bradwell. The three-year pro has arguably been one of the team's more productive late-round picks in recent memory, rushing for at least 200 yards in each of his first three seasons despite never seeing more than 60 carries, but he never solidified himself as a capable fill-in option when Austin Ekeler sidelined for six games. Rountree lacks the quick-cut explosiveness that Jackson has demonstrated at the pro level, but he does seem to have a nose for the end zone having scored a career-best 14 touchdowns in a shortened 2020 season.

May 3, 2021 7:56 AM EST

Totals 104 yards in win

Jackson carried the ball nine times for 72 yards and also caught one of his two receptions for 32 yards in Sunday's 38-21 win over the Chiefs.

Analysis: It's worth noting the Chiefs benched the majority of their starters having already locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC prior to Sunday's affair, but the 104 total yards on just 10 touches is still a nice reminder of Jackson's talents after being buried behind Kalen Ballage for much of the second half of the season. Austin Ekeler, who left Sunday's game with a concussion, will still be the unquestioned starter entering next year, but there will be legitimate intrigue regarding the backup role with Ballage, Jackson, 2020 fourth-round pick Joshua Kelley and possibly a few more names all in the mix for the position in 2021. Perhaps more crucially for Jackson's fantasy prospects will be the status of head coach Anthony Lynn, whose insistent on utilizing two backs has given Jackson far more opportunities than one might expect given his prospect profile. A change at head coach/offensive philosophy might relegate Jackson, and to a larger extent any Chargers running back not named Ekeler, from capable fringe backup in deeper leagues to complete afterthought.

Jan 3, 2021 10:05 PM EST

Just eight offensive snaps in win

Jackson tallied just four yards on two carries in the 19-16 win over the Broncos on Sunday.

Analysis: Not much to see here as Jackson registered just eight offensive snaps -- eight less than clear-cut backup Kalen Ballage and a whopping 29 less than starter Austin Ekeler. Despite playing in just eight games this season, the third-year pro needs just nine more yards to surpass his career-high in rushing.

Dec 29, 2020 2:08 PM EST

Healthy scratch for TNF

Jackson (coach's decision) won't suit up in Thursday's game against the Raiders.

Analysis: Jackson appeared relegated to a depth option at running back in last week's win over the Falcons, rushing the ball just three times for nine yards. The Northwestern product didn't return to prominence as some might have hoped after coming off injured reserve Saturday, and this news confirms his slide down the depth chart. With Jackson sidelined, Austin Ekeler, Kalen Ballage and Joshua Kelley will be the running backs for Thursday's divisional matchup.

Dec 17, 2020 4:00 PM EST

Clearly depth option at RB

Jackson (knee) carried the ball three times for nine yards and caught all three of his targets for 10 yards in Sunday's 20-17 win over the Falcons.

Analysis: Fantasy managers hoping Jackson would return to some sort of prominence after coming off injured reserve earlier last week officially had their hopes dashed Sunday as the third-year tailback saw just 11 offensive snaps and woefully trailed Austin Ekeler and Kalen Ballage in terms of playing time. Ekeler evidently suffered a quad injury during the win which was serious enough for the Chargers to estimate him as a non-participant in Monday's practice, but even if Ekeler were to miss time, expect Ballage to be the primary workhorse with Jackson simply chipping in as a secondary option.

Dec 15, 2020 10:32 AM EST

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