Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler picked up an ankle injury during the team’s 36-34 loss at the hands of the Miami Dolphins to start the 2023 NFL season.
What is the fantasy football impact on this Chargers offense if Ekeler is unable to go in Week 2?
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Latest News Surrounding Austin Ekeler
Update 09/15/2023: Friday’s injury report did not reveal good news for Austin Ekeler’s Week 2 status. The Chargers RB was listed as Doubtful, making his chances of playing against the Titans very low.
Chargers RB Austin Ekeler is doubtful to play in Week 2 against the Titans.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 15, 2023
When Ekeler was listed as a DNP — which stands for “Did Not Participate” — for practice on Wednesday, many wondered what kind of injury he may be dealing with.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) September 13, 2023
The Chargers’ injury report does list his ankle as part of the reason for his absence on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, the report also listed “personal” as a reason, which reports coming from multiple sources tried to shed some light on.
Ian Rapoport says Austin Ekeler will not practice today as he is attending the funeral for Cameron Weiss, his agent that tragically passed at 38. https://t.co/cFyzByZZMO
— Alex Insdorf (@alexinsdorf99) September 13, 2023
Cameron Weiss — Ekeler’s agent — tragically passed away at the age of 38, which makes his absence from Wednesday’s practice completely understandable.
Fast forward to Thursday’s practice, and Ekeler is once again not at practice.
#Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (ankle) is not practicing t today.
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) September 14, 2023
At this time, we don’t have the Chargers’ practice report from Thursday, but his second missed practice of the week is certainly something worth monitoring.
Will Ekeler Play This Week?
Ekeler is an established, high-profile veteran player who is certainly capable of missing some practices during the week and still finding his way to the field on Sunday.
If Ekeler misses practice again on Friday, then I will be far more concerned about his availability for Sunday.
If Ekeler is able to log any practice time on Friday — even in a limited capacity — I’d feel a bit more optimistic about his availability against the Tennessee Titans.
What Does This Mean for Ekeler’s Fantasy Ranking?
Ekeler is a must-start, top-five play at the running back position every week regardless of the matchup.
Sure, the Titans rushing defense held all New Orleans Saints running backs to just 50 rushing yards on 19 carries in the season opener, but Ekeler is a productive three-down back in one of the league’s most explosive offensive units.
Currently, I have Ekeler as my RB7 in my weekly rankings because of the unknown surrounding his ankle injury and the lack of participation in practice so far this week.
However, it has been a rough personal week for Ekeler, and we still have one more day to see him potentially get some practice time in this week.
If Ekeler is unavailable for their Week 2 matchup, Joshua Kelley will be first in line to see an expanded role after rushing for 91 yards and a score in the season opener against the Dolphins.
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