The Chargers have been mostly mum on a potential return date for star RB Austin Ekeler in recent weeks. Ekeler was sidelined with a hamstring injury and a hyperextended knee back on Oct. 4 in a Chargers loss to the Buccaneers.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday that Ekeler would be back in the Chargers lineup this week.
The Chargers’ game this Sunday against the Bills will mark exactly eight weeks (56 days) since the initial injury.
LA had been in no rush to bring Ekeler back quickly considering that they sport a 2-7 record and that it would take a miracle to get back into the playoff race.
When will Austin Ekeler be back?
The good news is that Ekeler is back running and working out.
Here are a couple of videos from Ekeler’s Instagram last week.
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
Ekeler told CBS in mid-October that he would “definitely” be back this season. Possible return dates for the former Western Colorado star include:
- Week 11 vs. New York Jets (seven weeks since the injury)
- Week 12 at Buffalo Bills (eight weeks since the injury)
- Week 13 vs. New England Patriots (nine weeks since the injury)
- Week 14 vs. Atlanta Falcons (10 weeks since the injury)
The Chargers have been a bit more diplomatic when discussing the injury, as LA head coach Anthony Lynn told The Athletic’s Daniel Popper on Oct. 21 that Ekeler would be back “later rather than sooner” and that the injury was “very serious.”
Austin Ekeler 2020 season props update
Ekeler was a longshot to win the NFL rushing title before the season started, coming in at +6000 at DraftKings Sportsbook. The likes of Melvin Gordon (+4000), Sony Michel (+5000) and David Montgomery (+5000) had lower odds heading into the year.
That number certainly seemed attainable at the time given that he hit 1,550 total yards in 2019. The 25-year-old was well on his way to matching or exceeding that total this season before the injury as he recorded a combined 392 yards through four games.
Ekeler would now need to put up 784 total yards the rest of the way to go over PointsBet’s preseason mark. The best case, but unlikely, scenario would be for Ekeler to play in eight games the rest of the way. He would need to average 98 total yards per game during those outings to go Over the total.
Best Chargers prices
One reason the Chargers are not in a rush to bring their star RB back is that making a playoff run will be next to impossible. LA is currently in the basement of the AFC West at 2-6. They have virtually no shot at winning the division as the 8-1 Chiefs are running away with it.
The seventh slot added in each conference for this year’s NFL playoffs keeps many teams’ postseason hopes alive, but LA has a mountain to climb if it intends on sneaking in. If the postseason began today, the Miami Dolphins would be the No. 7 seed in the AFC as they currently sport a 5-3 record. The 5-3 Browns, the 5-3 Colts, the 3-5 Broncos, the 3-5 Patriots and even the 2-5-1 Bengals are in better position to make a run than the Chargers are at the moment.
LA was +2000 to make the playoffs and -7000 to not make the playoffs at FanDuel Sportsbook as of Nov. 12.