Ekeler compiled 11 rushes for 77 yards and three catches (on three targets) for 21 yards during Sunday's 31-20 victory at Buffalo. As an undrafted rookie last season, Ekeler surpassed 90 scrimmage yards just once, despite cranking out 7.3 yards per touch. He hasn't been lacking for opportunity this year, though, totaling 24 touches through two games. Ekeler earned six of them after Melvin Gordon left this contest with 11:56 remaining in the fourth quarter. If Gordon's health is impacted moving forward, Ekeler would be the main beneficiary out of the Chargers backfield.
Ekeler had five carries for 39 yards and caught all five of his targets for 87 yards with a touchdown in Sunday's 38-28 loss to the Chiefs. Ekeler scored the first touchdown of the season for the Chargers on a 13-yard pass from Philip Rivers in the second quarter. He continued to stay involved throughout, although starter Melvin Gordon finished with 166 yards on 24 touches. The second-year Ekeler is one of the better change-of-pace backs in the league, but isn't likely to put up big numbers, unless something happens to Gordon.
Ekeler rushed six times for 50 yards and one touchdown during Saturday's preseason game against the Saints. He also secured all three of his targets for 13 yards. Ekeler shined in place of Melvin Gordon, who missed Saturday's exhibition in order to tend to a personal matter. While Ekeler -- who averaged 5.5 yards on 47 carries in 2017 -- was his usual efficient self in the featured role, he still seems cemented behind Gordon on the depth chart in advance of Week 1, rendering him nothing more than a handcuff with upside if Gordon is forced to miss any time. In the Chargers' previous two preseason games, Gordon commanded 25 of 29 first-team snaps, including four-of-five snaps on third down.
Ekeler sat out of Saturday's 24-14 preseason win over the Seahawks with a sore calf, Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com reports. Williams added that coach Anthony Lynn said Ekeler could've played if it were a regular season game, meaning the Chargers were just practicing caution with their dual-threat running back. Ekeler had 47 carries for 260 yards and two touchdowns while hauling in 27 passes for 279 yards and three scores in his rookie campaign. He's the clear handcuff to Melvin Gordon.
Ekeler had five carries for 22 yards and two receptions for 42 yards in Saturday's preseason loss to Arizona. Ekeler looks set to begin the season as the No. 2 running back with Justin Jackson struggling with a hamstring injury. Melvin Gordon is locked in as the workhorse for early downs, but he may cede a few more snaps to Ekeler in passing situations this season.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/23||@Los Angeles Rams||9||12.00|
|4||09/30||San Francisco 49ers||12||13.00|
|15||12/14||@Kansas City Chiefs||28||27.00|
|3 Year Avg||47||260||2||27||279||3||79|