Ekeler (neck/concussion) has been ruled out for Thursday's game against the Chiefs.
Meanwhile, top running back Melvin Gordon (knee) is listed as questionable for the contest, with his status likely to come down to a game-time call. With Ekeler unavailable, Justin Jackson would be next in line to handle the bulk of the Chargers' carries Thursday if Gordon is limited or out.
Ekeler (neck/concussion) didn't participate in Tuesday's practice.
After suffering a bruised nerve in his neck on an onside kick recovery attempt late in Sunday's 26-21 win over the Bengals, Ekeler entered the concussion protocol after developing symptoms of a head injury during Monday's team walk-through. Per Sam Fortier of The Athletic, the two injuries make it unlikely Ekeler is able to rally in time for Thursday's game in Kansas City, potentially leaving the Chargers perilously thin in the backfield. On a more fortunate note, workhorse Melvin Gordon (knee) returned to practice Tuesday in a limited fashion and is angling to return from a two-game absence, but if he can't gain clearance to play, seventh-round rookie Justin Jackson and undrafted free agent Detrez Newsome would be the lone available backs for Los Angeles.
Lynn offered a similar assessment for the outlook of Melvin Gordon (knee), so it's expected the Chargers will be without their top two running backs in a matchup that could effectively decide the AFC West. Ekeler exited late in Sunday's win over the Bengals with a neck stinger -- an issue that has bothered him at various points in recent weeks -- and also entered the NFL's protocol for head injuries Monday after experiencing concussion-like symptoms during a team walk-through session, per Joe Reedy of the Associated Press. With Ekeler not trending toward gaining clearance for Thursday and Gordon seemingly on track to miss a third straight contest, seventh-round pick Justin Jackson is expected to head the Chargers' backfield in Week 15, making the Northwestern product worthy of rostering in most leagues in the short term. Undrafted rookie Detrez Newsome is also on hand to offer depth, but with just 11 career offensive snaps to his name, it's tough to imagine him having a sizable role in the game plan.
Ekeler (neck/concussion) was listed as a non-participant on Monday's estimated injury report.
Although it went unreported at the time, Ekeler has tended to a neck stinger of late, and he aggravated the injury Sunday against the Bengals, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. Ekeler also was evaluated for a concussion in the blue sideline tent, and while Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com reported the running back didn't enter the protocol for head injuries, his listed injuries on the first Week 15 practice report suggest otherwise. Fortunately, Ekeler was able to speak with the media Monday. On the other hand, he told Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times his neck is stiff, and he can't move his head much. With little time to recover for Thursday's game at Kansas City, Ekeler appears to be in major danger of missing his first game of the season. Elsewhere in the backfield, Melvin Gordon received the same listing on the practice report as Ekeler, which could lead to elevated roles for Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome in the short term.
Ekeler (neck) is considered day to day, Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com reports.
In addition to dealing with stingers in his neck, Ekeler was checked for a concussion -- and ultimately cleared -- during Sunday's 26-21 win over the Bengals. He finished the game with 94 scrimmage yards and a TD on 17 touches, but his ability to fight through the injury Sunday doesn't necessarily mean he'll able to suit up for Thursday's game in Kansas City. With Melvin Gordon (knee) also uncertain, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome are left as the healthy backfield options. Jackson was limited to 12 yards on seven carries and 23 yards on two catches Sunday against Cincinnati.
|17||12/30/18||@ DEN||4:25 pm|
|2017||Los Angeles Chargers||16||0||47||260||5.5||35||2||3||12|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||13||3||98||496||5.1||32||2||3||23|
|2017||Los Angeles Chargers||16||0||27||279||10.3||38||3||3||0||12|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||13||3||39||404||10.4||44||3||5||1||18|
|2017||Los Angeles Chargers||16||5||85||17.0||22||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||13||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2017||Los Angeles Chargers||16||19||15.0||4||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||13||9||9.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||Los Angeles Chargers||16||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||13||1||1||0||2||0||0||2||0|