Report: Chargers' Austin Ekeler to Miss 'Multiple Weeks' After Injury vs. Bucs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) eyes a defender as he rushes with the ball during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)
Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler reportedly will miss "multiple weeks" after suffering injuries to his knee and hamstring Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the news on Ekeler, noting the running back was "spotted with crutches and a brace" to help with a hyperextended knee and an injury to his hamstring. Ekeler will have an MRI on Monday, per Schefter.

Ekeler suffered the injury in the first half against Tampa Bay and had to be helped off the field by two people as he headed toward a cart to take him to the locker room, per Gilbert Manzano of the Orange County Register.

Melvin Gordon's brief holdout allowed Ekeler to take center stage in Los Angeles' backfield, and he more than capitalized on the opportunity. He ran for 557 yards and three touchdowns while catching 92 passes for 993 yards and eight scores. His 1,550 yards from scrimmage were ninth-most in the NFL.

The Chargers rewarded Ekeler with a four-year, $24.5 million extension this offseason. Gordon, meanwhile, left to sign a two-year, $16 million deal with the Denver Broncos.

Aside from selecting UCLA running back Joshua Kelley in the fourth round of the 2020 draft, the team did little to address Gordon's departure.

The strategy made sense because Ekeler had proved himself to be an effective No. 1 option, but it left Los Angeles a bit vulnerable in the event he got hurt.

Kelley has at least proved himself to be effective on the ground, going for 167 yards and one touchdown through the first three games of the season.

Justin Jackson sits behind Kelley on the depth chart, but he only had two carries for four yards entering Week 4.