Mac Jones, Justin Herbert, Bill Belichick, and Brandon Staley. The New England Patriots and its rookie quarterback journey West to tackle the Los Angeles Chargers and its sophomore stud quarterback. One staff has an up-and-coming head coach; the opposite has one of many biggest head coaches.
LA is coming off the bye week after a stellar 4-2 begin to the yr (let’s overlook the beating towards the Baltimore Ravens), and the Patriots just walloped Zach Wilson and the New York Jets for the second time earlier than Halloween.
Herbert is firing on all cylinders and has the Chargers towards the highest of the AFC West. Nonetheless, a current replace concerning star working again Austin Ekeler is horrible music to the ears of Brandon Staley and the SoFi Stadium residents.
Austin Ekeler misses apply on Thursday with a hip damage
The Chargers are recent off their bye week and usually well-rested and recovered from a brutal six-game stretch to start out the season. Nonetheless, the most recent replace had Ekeler lacking apply on Thursday with a hip damage.
Sure, this can be a surprising improvement for a number of causes. First off, Ekeler had not been talked about of any damage over the previous two weeks. Moreover, Ekeler was not on the apply report in any respect on Wednesday.
That is regarding for the Chargers and Herbert, who will possible need to heave much more passes if the dynamic working again can’t get wholesome earlier than Sunday.
All eyes might be peeled on the Ekeler entrance till Sunday rolls alongside for each Chargers followers and fantasy football players.
Invoice Belichick and the Patriots will sleep so much higher if Ekeler is unavailable
Rather a lot can change earlier than Sunday, however the truth of the matter is that Ekeler’s standing is up within the air. As if dealing and planning for the Patriots aren’t difficult sufficient, now the Chargers and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi will work on an alternate recreation plan as a contingency plan.
Even with the Patriots in a little bit of a youthful motion, they nonetheless discover a solution to frustrate opposing offenses. However, the Chargers offensive unit is frightening, with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Jared Prepare dinner, and Herbert main the cost.
However the absence of Ekeler could be an enormous one to beat. On the yr, the shifty working again has 356 yards dashing and 242 yards within the receiving recreation with a complete of seven scores. He does all of it, and issues would possibly get ugly if he can not go well with up on Sunday.
Belichick and the Patriots’ protection ought to have a a lot simpler time recreation planning with out Ekeler. Nonetheless, the Chargers nonetheless have a ton of choices on offense, and Herbert himself is a budding star in this league.
The following man up for the Chargers is a sizzling matter this week
Paradoxically sufficient, a day earlier than Ekeler landed on the damage report, he sounded off on the remainder of the working again group (h/t Daniel Popper of The Athletic).
“Somebody’s bought to step up.”
Austin Ekeler on the Chargers RB room
He’s proper. It hasn’t been fairly, and if he can’t go, who is aware of what the workload cut up appears like. After Ekeler, it has been a mix of Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley, and rookie Larry Rountree. None of these working backs have eclipsed 100 yards whole on the yr.
The following main rusher is Herbert, with 72 yards. Kelley, the Chargers’ third-round selection in 2020, has suited up in simply two video games. Jackson has appeared in 5, however these two have mixed for simply 16 carries and 46 yards on the yr.
Now is likely to be the time for someone to step up if Ekeler is out for Sunday. The following couple of days might be essential for the Chargers, and being with out the beginning again could be an important blow for Staley’s group.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference
https://www.sportscasting.com/the-latest-austin-ekeler-injury-update-will-have-chargers-fans-stressing-and-bill-belichick-relaxing/ | The Newest Austin Ekeler Harm Replace Will Have Chargers Followers Stressing and Invoice Belichick Enjoyable