Chargers’ Austin Ekeler calling on running backs to step up

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One of the biggest questions heading into the season was who would establish themselves as the second running back behind Austin Ekeler.

Six games in, and while Ekeler has received the bulk of the work out of the backfield, Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley, or rookie Larry Rountree III have yet to prove capable of a prominent role.

Therefore, Ekeler said he is looking for one of them to claim that role: “Someone’s got to step up.”

The Chargers’ offense is heavily predicated on passing the ball, as they have only run the ball 139 times, which is the third-fewest in the league.

But of those attempts, the output outside of that of Ekeler has been below average.

Jackson has only totaled 22 yards on ten carries while adding seven catches for 34 yards. Kelley has six rushes for 24 yards. Rountree has the most carries out of the trio (24) but has only produced 60 yards.

All the while, Ekeler has 598 yards from scrimmage and seven total touchdowns.

While it isn’t the offense’s calling card, it’s clear that better results are wanted out of the running game. So until someone proves themselves, running backs coach Derrick Foster will continue to take the committee approach.

Facing a Patriots defense that has been stout against the run, ranking 11th in the league, allowing 105.6 yards per game, it might be a tough task for one to pull away from the pack.