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Austin Ekeler’s plans with the Commanders: ‘Score some touchdowns’

On the first day of the legal tampering period last week, Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters was busy revamping his roster.

Peters’ first moves were agreeing to terms with center Tyler Biadasz, defensive end Dorance Armstrong and linebacker Frankie Luvu. Finally, Peters landed a weapon for his offense, which is expected to feature a rookie quarterback.

The Commanders agreed to terms with running back Austin Ekeler on a two-year deal, giving them one of the NFL’s premier pass-catching backs who has a nose for the end zone.

The former undrafted free agent spent his first seven seasons with the Chargers. In 2019, Ekeler had 92 receptions and eight receiving touchdowns. Ekeler also rushed for 557 yards and three scores. In 2021 and 2022, Ekeler was arguably the NFL’s most productive back, rushing for over 900 yards each year with 25 combined touchdowns and catching 177 passes for 13 more touchdowns.

Unfortunately, Ekeler took a step back last season, rushing for 628 yards and five scores while catching 51 passes.

In his introductory press conference this week, Ekeler acknowledged last season’s struggles, attributing it to a change in direction for the Chargers offense and an ankle injury that impacted Ekeler all season.

Ekeler did sustain an ankle injury early in the season and battled through it, missing just three games. He acknowledged the injury but made it clear he wasn’t making excuses.

Instead, he has big plans for 2024.

“I’m going to score some touchdowns for you, that’s for sure,” Ekeler said. “I’m going to bring some energy.”

Ekeler will share backfield duties with rising third-year back Brian Robinson Jr., which excites Ekeler.

If Robinson and Ekeler remain healthy in 2024, the Commanders could have one of the NFL’s best backfields.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire