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Shark Bites

7:28pm EDT 10/22/22

Chargers RB Joshua Kelley (knee) will miss at least the next 4 games after landing on IR on Saturday. His absence leaves Sony Michel as Los Angeles' #2 RB for now. We'll see if rookie RB Isaiah Spiller can make a push for that job.

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Chargers RB Josh Kelley ran for 75 yards and a TD on a tough offensive day overall in the loss to the Chiefs. Don't read too much into that production, though. Kelley exploited a hole, a stacked box, and poor pursuit by K.C. DBs for a 49-yard TD run in the second quarter. His other 6 carries averaged a just OK 4.3 yards per rush. Even that outpaced Austin Ekeler's 3.2 yards per carry for the game. Those 7 carries marked a rebound from the single attempt Kelley got in Ekeler's return game the week before. Of course, it's also worth noting that Kelley averaged just 2.8 yards per rush across the three contests Ekeler missed and entered this game averaging 3.6 per carry for the season. Kelley's at his best as a complement to Ekeler. We'll see if he garners any more work going forward, but we won't bet on it before we see it or hear about such a plan from coaches.

Chargers RB Joshua Kelley carried just 11 times for 12 yards in Sunday's win over the Vikings. The team went extremely pass-heavy, dropping QB Justin Herbert back on 75.8% of offensive snaps. Despite leading the backfield in routes (13), Kelley tied for just sixth on the team in that category. Kelley tripled the snap count of No. 2 RB Isaiah Spiller, with Austin Ekeler out. But he spent much of his day blocking. Even if Ekeler remains out in Week 4, Kelley will be tough to like against the Raiders after consecutive duds. This week should have been at least a decent spot for him, against a Minnesota team that D'Andre Swift and the Eagles brutalized in Week 2.

Chargers RB Joshua Kelley recorded 13 attempts for 39 rushing yards in Week 2 vs. the Titans. Fantasy managers hoping to stream the young back as a replacement for Austin Ekeler (ankle) are likely disappointed by the results of Sunday’s OT loss. Kelley’s heavy involvement in Week 1 still makes him worthy of rostering in deeper leagues, but those in 10 or 12-team leagues can justify throwing him back into the waiver pool. Keep track of the injury reports this week to see if Ekeler will return for next Sunday’s contest vs. the Vikings.

Chargers beat writer Daniel Popper believes RB Joshua Kelley will see “most of the carries” behind Austin Ekeler. “Kelley had a great camp and preseason,” Popper writes. “His natural talent has started to shine with [OC Kellen] Moore’s downhill run philosophy and scheme. Kelley has earned the opportunity behind Ekeler to start the season. But that could change as the season progresses.” The Chargers passed on adding a veteran back this offseason, signaling faith in Kelley and Isaiah Spiller. While Kelley looks like the primary RB2 now, this situation could be fluid all year.

Chargers RBs Isaiah Spiller and Joshua Kelley "have been splitting reps pretty evenly behind Austin Ekeler in camp," according to The Athletic's Daniel Popper. Kelley played ahead of Spiller all last season, but it sounds like the title of Ekeler handcuff is still up for grabs heading into 2023. We'll track this battle over the next few weeks.

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