Jan 3, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) active for opener

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is active and expected to play Sunday against the Washington Football Team.

His availability had been in question this week as he missed practice time while nursing a hamstring injury.

Ekeler, 26, began last season as the Chargers No. 1 back, but was limited to 10 games after suffering hamstring and knee injuries in Week 4.

Ekeler finished the season with 530 rushing yards, 403 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

In four seasons, all with the Chargers, Ekeler has rushed for 1,901 yards and nine touchdowns and has 2,079 receiving yards and 16 scores.

Both team finished the 2020 season at 7-9. Despite the sub-.500 record, Washington won the NFC East and lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs 31-23 to eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) misses practice

The Los Angeles Chargers practiced without Austin Ekeler on Wednesday as the running back was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Ekeler, 26, spent the session working on the side with trainers.

The Chargers face the Washington Football Team on the road on Sunday in their season opener.

Ekeler began last season as the Chargers No. 1 back, but was limited to 10 games after suffering hamstring and knee injuries in Week 4.

Ekeler finished the season with 530 rushing yards, 403 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

In four seasons, all with the Chargers, Ekeler has rushed for 1,901 yards and nine touchdowns and has 2,079 receiving yards and 16 scores.

The Chargers other running backs are Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree III.

–Field Level Media

Jul 29, 2021; Costa Mesa, CA, United States; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) during training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers to sit Justin Herbert, other starters all preseason

The players working to earn a spot on the Los Angeles Chargers roster will have more opportunities to show their stuff.

That’s because first-year head coach Brandon Staley said Thursday that at least eight players won’t see a snap in postseason games.

Sitting out all three games will be quarterback Justin Herbert, the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year, as well as former All-Pro safety Derwin James, running back Austin Ekeler, tight end Jared Cook, center Corey Linsley, right tackle Bryan Bulaga and defensive tackle Linval Joseph.

Staley was an assistant coach on the Los Angeles Rams staff of Sean McVay, who said recently that new quarterback Matthew Stafford will be on the sidelines for the preseason games

The Chargers open the preseason Saturday against the Rams at SoFi Stadium, which the two teams share. Washington Football Team will host the Chargers in the season opener on Sept. 12.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) catches a pass during warm ups next to wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) before their game against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Availability in question for Chargers WRs Allen, Williams

The Los Angeles Chargers have several unanswered questions entering Thursday night’s road game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

ESPN reported that Keenan Allen (hamstring) likely will be limited if he plays at all, while fellow wide receiver Mike Williams (back) is not expected to compete.

While the Chargers (4-9) may be without two of rookie Justin Herbert’s top targets, multiple media outlets reported that running back Austin Ekeler (quad) is expected to be in the lineup against the Raiders (7-6).

Allen is second in the NFL with 99 catches. His 975 receiving yards and eight touchdowns lead the team.

Williams, who has 36 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns, joined Allen in being limited participants in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Ekeler leads the Chargers with 407 yards rushing despite playing in just seven games this season. He also has proven to be a capable outlet with 41 catches for 328 yards.

Should Allen and Williams sit out, Herbert will need to rely on tight end Hunter Henry and wideout Jalen Guyton, among others. Kalen Ballage will be looked upon to lead the backfield should Ekeler sit out.

–Field Level Media

Sep 13, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers activate RB Ekeler from injured reserve

The Los Angeles Chargers activated running back Austin Ekeler from injured reserve on Saturday.

The 25-year-old has been out since Week 4 due to hamstring and knee injuries. He has rushed for 248 yards and a touchdown and caught 17 passes for 144 yards in four games this season.

Ekeler has gained 3,439 yards from scrimmage and scored 23 touchdowns in 50 games (15 starts) since signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2017 out of Western State in Colorado. He signed a four-year, $24.5 million extension last March.

The Chargers (3-7) made several other moves ahead of Sunday’s game at the Buffalo Bills (7-3).

Los Angeles waived defensive end Jessie Lemonier and activated three players from the practice squad for Sunday: linebackers B.J. Bello and Cole Christiansen and nose tackle Breiden Fehoko.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Kalen Ballage (31) scores a touchdown as Las Vegas Raiders free safety Erik Harris (25) looks on during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers sign RB Ballage to active roster, RB Jackson to IR

The Los Angeles Chargers signed running back Kalen Ballage to the active roster for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, replacing Justin Jackson, who was moved to injured reserve Saturday with a knee injury.

Jackson, who has rushed for 185 yards on 45 carries in six games (four starts), could return as early as Week 13. Ballage was effective in Week 9, rushing for 69 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in a 31-26 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, before getting sent back to the practice squad.

The Chargers (2-6), who ruled defensive end Joey Bosa (concussion) out for the second straight week, also activated cornerback Quenton Meeks from the practice squad.

The Chargers also will be without running back Austin Ekeler who has been out since Week 4 because of a left hamstring strain and a hyperextended knee. He recently said on social media that he is getting closer to returning to the field.

–Field Level Media

Sep 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA;  Carolina Panthers cornerback Rasul Douglas (24) and Carolina Panthers cornerback Corn Elder (29) tackle Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) in the second half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers put RB Ekeler (hamstring) on injured reserve

The Los Angeles Chargers placed running back Austin Ekeler on injured reserve, the team announced Friday.

While the move officially will sideline Ekeler for at least the next three weeks with the hamstring injury, multiple media outlets reported that the running back is expected to miss four to six weeks.

Joshua Kelley, who has a team-high 52 carries this season for 174 yards, will see an increase in workload on Monday when the Chargers (1-3) visit the New Orleans Saints (2-2).

Los Angeles promoted wide receiver Tyron Johnson to their active roster on Friday and signed running back Kalen Ballage to the practice squad.

Ekeler, 25, sustained his hamstring injury in the Chargers’ 38-31 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Ekeler signed a four-year, $24.5 million extension with Los Angeles in the offseason. He leads the team with 248 yards rushing, while his 17 catches for 144 yards rank third.

Ekeler burst onto the scene last season with 1,550 yards from scrimmage (including 993 receiving on 92 catches) and 11 touchdowns. He has 23 career touchdowns — nine on the ground and 14 receiving.

–Field Level Media