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RB Austin Ekeler - Los Angeles Chargers

5-10, 200Born: 5-17-1995College: Western State (CO)Drafted: ---

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Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 15 vs KC (2 / 13 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)

Ekeler was in and out of the game with some regularity early on, mostly working in the change of pace role to Melvin Gordon on third down situations. He had a nice 13-yard run up the left side in the first half, but only had one other touch until late in the game. He caught a short pass in the flat for first down yardage, but had the ball stripped away by a defender and recovered by the Chiefs. Needless to say, it was an extremely costly play and likely would have cost Ekeler playing time the remainder of the season anyway; but it was revealed after the game that he broke his hand on the play. It's unknown if he'll play the rest of the season with a cast on his hand, or if the team will just opt to shut him down.

2017 Week 14 vs WAS (4 / 49 / 0 rush, 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Ekeler has proven to be a fine complement to starter Melvin Gordon as the change of pace back. On a day that Gordon saw 22 carries, Ekeler saw just 4 (despite averaging nearly four times as many yards per carry). Late in the first half, he committed what was deemed a "rookie mistake", but it was difficult to fault him for it. The Chargers had one timeout left and were driving to try and get into field goal range, with less than ten seconds on the clock. Ekeler broke a run up the left side as the seconds continued to run, and the team probably wanted him to take a knee so they could stop the clock and kick the field goal. But he saw daylight ahead of him and tried getting into the end zone for a potential touchdown. He was tackled down at the 4-yard line, but the clock ran out as he was being tackled. Outside of that, he again looked good with the ball in his hands and was not in on rushing plays late in the game even with the big lead - Gordon was.

2017 Week 13 vs CLE (4 / 19 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)

Despite his relative success when he gets the ball in his hands, Ekeler is still the clear backup to Melvin Gordon, as this is not a 1/1A type of situation like they have with the Saints or Jets. In this one, Ekeler showed some nice open field moves on a first half reception that went for 16 yards, and did an excellent job in the run game when they opted to go to him. The announcers revealed that, in conversations with the Charger strength coaches, the staff apparently said that Ekeler is the team's strongest player, pound-for-pound. It shows frequently, as he doesn't often go down upon first contact or from only one would-be tackler. In the second half, Ekeler dropped a swing pass that was laid out right in his hands, although based on the spot of the field, it's possible that he lost it in the sun.

2017 Week 12 vs DAL (6 / 15 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 55 / 0 rec)

Ekeler saw a hearty 40% of the snaps against Dallas and had the biggest gain of the game of Chargers running backs. While Melvin Gordon had tough sledding on the interior for most of his work, Ekeler's versatility fueled his passing game prowess. As a split out receiver, Ekeler ran an out-and-up route to get wide open for a long reception down the sideline. Ekeler also added a third down conversion inside as a traditional running back among his nine touches. Ekeler has found consistency in his Danny Woodhead-type role within the offense, averaging more than 10 yards-per-catch on the season and five touchdowns on 61 touches. The Browns next week offer a positive game script matchup where touches for the Chargers running backs project to be high once again.

2017 Week 11 vs BUF (6 / 40 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)

Ekeler had eight touches in the game, and even managed a score on a nice 21-yard scamper midway through the fourth quarter. But to temper that enthusiasm just a bit, it should be noted that EKeler was a non-factor for the majority of the game with the outcome still in the balance. He didn't really get a large workload until the game had essentially been decided, and it was time to rest starter Melvin Gordon.

2017 Week 10 vs JAX (10 / 42 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 77 / 2 rec)

Ekeler was the primary offense for the Chargers. His first touchdown came on a dump off where he outran Myles Jack to the edge and then powered through a poor effort-level Jalen Ramsey tackle. He kept his balance down the sideline and then ran it in with the quickness. His next score came on a dump off but this one was more about his open field speed. With nothing but green in front of him, Ekeler outran the Jaguars D for the score. As a runner, he showed great agility and explosion but his lack of size and power shows up often.

2017 Week 8 vs NE (2 / 8 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)

Ekeler had just three offensive touches in the game, but looked good with the ball. He took a 6-yard toss to the outside, getting tripped up a yard shy of a first down, in the first half. And he collected his lone reception on a 4th and 2 grab with the clock running late in the fourth quarter. Somehow, despite being tackled inbounds with nine seconds left, the Chargers got up to the line to spike it with one second left.


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