Jackson carried the ball 16 times for 58 yards and a touchdown, and also caught three of his four targets for 27 yards in Thursday's 29-28 come-from-behind win over the Chiefs. Fantasy players can't be too disappointed with 85 total yards and a touchdown, but the rookie running back could, and quite possibly should have scored on two other occasions, most notably on an underthrown wheel route during the Chargers' final possession. While 3.6 yards per carry doesn't seem fantastic, Jackson displayed a promising amount of explosiveness, often times falling forward for a handful of additional yards. With an extra couple of days of rest, Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (neck/concussion) figure to be close to returning to the field in Week 16, thus ending Jackson's brief run atop the depth chart.
With Melvin Gordon (knee) inactive, Jackson is in line to lead the Chargers' backfield in Thursday night's game against the Chiefs. In addition to Gordon being out, Austin Ekeler (neck/concussion) is sidelined, so Jackson is in a decent spot to put forth a fantasy-worthy effort in Week 15. Detrez Newsome and Troymaine Pope are on hand to work in reserve roles Thursday.
Jackson is trending toward starting and serving as the Chargers' lead back Thursday against the Chiefs after coach Anthony Lynn told Steve Wyche of NFL Network he's "not optimistic" Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (neck/concussion) will be available for the contest. Both Gordon and Ekeler were listed as non-participants on Monday's estimated practice report and are facing uphill battles to get healthy on the short week. Jackson had seen his role expand over the previous three games while Gordon was either limited or withheld from action, with the Northwestern product earning at least seven snaps in every contest. He was efficient in his opportunities in Weeks 12 and 13, but managed only 12 yards on his seven totes in the Week 14 win over the Bengals. Despite that disappointing showing, Jackson's workload shouldn't be threatened Thursday, as undrafted rookie Detrez Newsome is the only other healthy back on the roster and has been limited to just 11 offensive snaps this season. In addition to the likelihood that he'll draw an overwhelming share of the backfield touches, Jackson will benefit from a soft matchup against a Kansas City defense that has ceded 5.1 yards per carry this season, the second-worst mark in the league. That should provide enough reason to scoop Jackson off the waiver wire in just about any format where he's available, though he'll lose nearly all his fantasy appeal once either Gordon and/or Ekeler is cleared to play again.
Jackson had seven carries for 12 yards and caught both of his targets for 23 yards in Sunday's 26-21 win over the Bengals. Unable to build on his breakout from the previous week, Jackson took a clear backseat to Austin Ekeler, who piled up 94 yards and a score on 17 touches (two receptions). There is some chance the rookie ends up with a larger role Thursday against the Chiefs, given that Ekeler has reportedly been bothered by stingers and Melvin Gordon (knee) is far from a lock to return. The Chargers' injury reports will need to be monitored closely this week.
Coach Anthony Lynn said Wednesday that Jackson should get more work before halftime this week, though Austin Ekeler is still in line for the start Sunday against Cincinnati. Lynn had another interesting quote at his Tuesday press conference, noting that Jackson and Detrez Newsome could get more playing time because Ekeler is wearing down from his combination of snaps on offense and special teams, per Dave Richard of CBS Sports. Of course, Lynn sung a much different tune last week when he deemed Ekeler capable of handling an every-down role. The second-year back was then limited to 21 yards on 13 carries in Sunday's 33-30 comeback win over Pittsburgh, with Jackson providing a spark after halftime on his way to an 8-63-1 rushing line. The rookie made a strong case to get a larger share of the workload Week 14, but he still should come off the bench and may end up with a disappointing number of touches if Ekeler gets off to a strong start. Granted, there's room for more than one running back to be productive against the freefalling Bengals.
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