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Kellen Moore not letting Austin Ekeler’s absence affect Chargers offseason prep

The Chargers are still at an impasse in negotiations with star running back Austin Ekeler but aren’t letting the situation surrounding his availability impact their 2023 off-season program.

When queried about whether Ekeler’s absence was affecting the Chargers’ preparation in minicamp, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore make it clear that the team is moving ahead without him as they focus on fundamentals.

“Right now, we’re just so focused on really the foundation of the system, of offensive football,” Moore explained. “Just kind of building a really solid foundation focusing more on the bigger picture, the big picture from a scheme standpoint.

Then, as you get into Phase Three of OTAs, training camp and as you get into the season, we start narrowing that thing, getting specific from player-specific responsibilities and what not. Right now, we’re at such a wider lens that we’re really teaching for everyone.”

Ekeler is an important piece, but his positional value does not seem to be crucial enough for Los Angeles to be worth paying him more. However, the case for Ekeler is that he has been not only productive but healthy, which is something rare at the position; he has missed only one game in the past two seasons.

Ekeler has 38 total touchdowns in the past two seasons, the most among NFL skill players.

Incremental improvement will be key for Los Angeles if they intend to change their luck in the playoffs next season, and the team can’t afford to let one holdout de-rail the progress being made at this point in the offseason.

Ekeler’s current contract qualms surely aren’t working in the Chargers’ favor. Still, if they can get him back on the field in time for the regular season, Los Angeles’ offensive attack shouldn’t skip a beat given the additions they made to the unit in free agency and the draft.

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire