Austin Ekeler got his individual season off to a strong start with 117 rushing yards and a touchdown in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins. However, at some point during the game he sprained his ankle and was forced to sit out a Week 2 loss against the Titans.
Without him, the Los Angeles Chargers managed just 61 yards on the ground without a single run longer than 15 yards.
At 0-2 and with a huge matchup against the Vikings on the schedule this week, the desperately need Ekeler back on the field and balance back in their offense. Will he be able to go?
Austin Ekeler injury update: Chargers RB Out for Week 3
Injury timeline: Austin Ekeler will miss his second straight game as the Chargers ruled the running back out on Friday. Ekeler injured his ankle in Week 1 against the Dolphins and hasn't practiced since, missing the Chargers' Week 2 loss to the Titans.
Expected return: Ekeler has said he would like to get back on the field as soon as possible but as of today, there is no specific target for his return.
Potential replacements: Joshua Kelley filled in for Ekeler against the Titans, totaling just 39 yards on 13 carries. This is his fourth season with the Chargers but he's always been lightly used, with just 242 carries across 39 games. He will likely be the fill-in for Week 3 but it's probably worth keeping expectations modest.
Coach's quote: With Ekeler out and the Chargers off to an 0-2 start, coach Brandon Staley has tried to project a positive vibe, saying, "I think that people believe in the type of players we have, the type of coaches that we have ... to make good things happen moving forward. And we just need to stay consistent with our process and consistent with the people out there on the field, and good things are going to happen for us."