Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is making a triumphant return to practice, signaling a ray of hope for the Chargers’ offense after his absence in weeks two and three due to a nagging ankle injury. The talented skill player, who has been sorely missed on the field, is gearing up for a potential comeback this weekend.
While the Chargers secured their first win of the season recently, they undoubtedly felt the void left by Ekeler’s absence in their last two games. Joshua Kelley admirably stepped into a complementary role in week one, but his performance as the lead back paled in comparison to Ekeler’s dynamic abilities.
In a surprising turn of events, the former Bruin managed to gain just 51 yards on 24 total carries, a far cry from the expectations set by the new offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, who emphasized a more balanced attack. What’s more, both fans and quarterback Justin Herbert sorely missed Ekeler’s exceptional ability to catch passes out of the backfield, as Kelley could only muster a single pass reception for five yards.
Ekeler’s return takes on even greater significance as the Chargers’ offense must now navigate the rest of the season without the services of Mike Williams, who is sidelined due to a torn ACL. The upcoming clash against the Raiders at Sofi Stadium in week four presents a challenging test, following the Chargers’ gritty and unexpected victory against the Vikings.
Their narrow four-point triumph in Minnesota was largely credited to Brandon Staley’s defense, which came to the rescue after a critical coaching error. Kenneth Murray Jr.’s interception of Kirk Cousins at the goal line in the final seconds sealed the Bolts’ first win of the year and likely saved Staley’s job.
Despite the formidable challenge posed by Davante Adams, who promises to test the Chargers’ struggling secondary, the team can find solace in the return of their star running back, Austin Ekeler, who is expected to be in top form for this pivotal divisional matchup. The Chargers have a legitimate chance to level their record at .500, especially if Vegas quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo remains sidelined due to concussion protocol.
Don’t forget to join our community at LA Sports Report, where we celebrate all things Chargers!