The Chargers have an undrafted rookie out of a school even major college football fans may not be familiar with who is fighting for a roster spot. He’s not the biggest guy on the field and he doesn’t come to the professional ranks with a ton of national recognition.
But the Chargers know what it’s like to have that player on the team.
Just last season, Austin Ekeler, who played at Western State University, came in as a player no one had really heard of and made the 53-man roster. He did so convincingly, in fact, and quickly rose the ranks to become the team’s No. 2 running back.
Now Detrez Newsome will be looking to do the exact same thing.
Newsome played at Western Carolina and though he’s the school’s all-time leader in terms of all-purpose yards and touchdowns, he received almost no interest going into the draft.
But in Los Angeles, it’s not like the Chargers are incredibly deep at running back.
The team has Melvin Gordon and Ekeler, and then it’s all up for grabs. Though seventh-round pick Justin Jackson is a player the team likes, but he’s been slowed by an injury. That opens the door for a guy like Newsome, especially since the only other running back on the roster is Russell Hansbrough.
Newsome got into the game against the Cardinals and made the most of the opportunity, finding the end zone on a 6-yard touchdown. Though his yards per carry weren’t much to brag about (4 carries, 3 yards), he chipped in as a receiver, catching four passes for 34 yards.
While Ekeler may be a bit more dynamic, this looks awfully familiar. Look for Newsome to get some chances to make some plays on Saturday night as he continues to push for a spot on the team.