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The Chargers on Wednesday finally placed RB Austin Ekeler on the COVID list. The move was 1st reported Monday, but then the team didn't end up putting him on the reserve at that point. It would obviously help his chances of returning for Sunday's game against the Texans if Ekeler's window dates back to the beginning of the week. For now, we'll move ahead assuming that Justin Jackson will lead the Chargers in carries and that Joshua Kelley will follow. The Houston matchup makes both players more interesting than they'd be in just about any other spot.

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Chargers RB Austin Ekeler rebounded in Week 14 with 100 total yards, 5 catches, and 1 TD. Ekeler’s 3-yard score marked his first end zone trip since Week 10. He lost carries to Isaiah Spiller (6) and Josh Kelley (3), but as expected, the veteran remained heavily involved in the passing game (33 routes). Per PFF, Ekeler also handled all 18 fourth-quarter snaps while the Chargers played from behind. So he's certainly trending in the right direction following the positive showing (and plus matchup). The Raiders turn up a favorable opponent for Week 15, but note that Ekeler will likely play without Justin Herbert.

Chargers RBs Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, and Isiah Spiller will all "split carries" against the Broncos today, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Exactly how those carries are split will be a "hot hand" situation, Rapoport adds. We're still betting on Ekeler leading the Chargers in carries today, as well as handling the majority of the passing-down work. But consider him more of a RB2. Kelley and Spiller should not be in fantasy lineups.

Chargers HC Brandon Staley hinted that RB Austin Ekeler might start losing carries. "Competition for carries is going to be something that you can see happening," Staley said Wednesday. "We're going to keep exploring, making adjustments, so that we can find that rhythm that I've been talking about. That's certainly one way to do it." Ekeler has been consistently inefficient since returning from his high-ankle sprain, topping 3.5 yards per carry in just one of eight games. He's averaged 3.0 yards per carry across those outings. RB Joshua Kelley has averaged 4.6 yards per carry over that same span. We could see Kelley stealing a handful of carries from Ekeler in Sunday's game vs. the Broncos -- although Ekeler should continue to dominate passing-down work.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler gained only 18 yards on 14 attempts in Sunday's win over New England. Ekeler added 2 catches (3 targets) for 9 yards, with the only misconnection coming on a drop. Ekeler’s 4.7 PPR points marked his third game with fewer than ten. Ekeler will look to rebound next week vs. Denver, but playing at less than 100% (ankle), he’ll do so with an uncomfortably low floor.

Now is not the time to hit the panic button, but it's fair to be slightly worried about Chargers RB Austin Ekeler. The veteran struggled on Sunday night, logging 64 total yards on 16 touches with a lost fumble in Week 12's loss vs. the Ravens. Ekeler has now failed to reach double-digit PPR points for the second week in a row. But the issues he's experienced lately stem from a downtick in passing game production and a lack of TDs. Ekeler averaged 19 receiving yards per game over the past two weeks; by contrast, he'd averaged 40.2 yards over his prior five games since returning from an ankle injury. Also, 30.6% of Ekeler's 98 PPR points he's scored since Week 6 have come from finding the end zone. However, don't get too caught up in these concerns. Ekeler has the easiest remaining RB schedule against a string of phenomenal matchups per our adjusted fantasy points allowed. Even though he's dangerously close to deserving a "TD-or-bust" label, it's tough to bet against a guy who ranks seventh in RB opportunity share and faces the Broncos (31st in run defense DVOA) twice between now and fantasy championship week. It may be a bumpy ride, but keep holding on.

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