The Los Angeles Chargers boast a roster brimming with standout players, including offensive talents Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen, along with defensive stalwarts like Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa, and Derwin James. These exceptional athletes have garnered recognition through a slew of accolades, such as All-Pro selections, Pro Bowl invitations, and annual awards.
Amid this constellation of stars, one player has yet to bask in the limelight but is gearing up for a potentially remarkable 2023 season. Kevin Patra, a reputable NFL analyst, has put forth a noteworthy prediction in NFL.com’s Pro Bowl forecast article. Patra contends that Austin Ekeler, a dynamic presence on the Chargers’ roster, is on the cusp of clinching his inaugural Pro Bowl nomination.
While the notion that Ekeler has yet to secure a Pro Bowl spot might raise eyebrows, a closer examination reveals a plausible explanation. Ekeler’s statistical profile as a conventional running back falls slightly short, having never amassed 1,000 rushing yards. The shortfall is particularly evident over the past two seasons, with a deficit of approximately 90 yards. This statistical observation carries weight among football enthusiasts and could potentially impact Ekeler’s chances in the voting process.
However, it would be unwise to underestimate Ekeler’s potential impact. His dual-threat capabilities as a runner and receiver could prove pivotal in securing a Pro Bowl berth. An underlying factor in Ekeler’s favor is the impending return of Rashawn Slater, a linchpin in the Chargers’ offensive line. While Pro Bowl selections may not be the sole measure of a player’s prowess, for Ekeler, such recognition would serve as a fitting tribute to his consistent excellence over multiple seasons.
“Can we get this man to the Pro Bowl already? For years, the do-it-all dual threat has been buried behind “more traditional” backs. Ekeler represents the modern NFL, where running backs are asked to be more than just ball-carriers. And he thrives. Ekeler has led the NFL in scrimmage TDs in the last two seasons with 20 in 2021 (tied with Jonathan Taylor) and 18 in 2022.”
As the NFL gears up for another exciting season, the spotlight is set to shine on Austin Ekeler. With his multi-faceted skill set, dedication, and the support of his team, he could very well transcend the statistics that have previously held him back. As Kevin Patra’s prediction gains traction, football enthusiasts await the unfolding of Ekeler’s journey, anticipating the potential fulfillment of his first-ever Pro Bowl selection in 2023.