LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Why running back could be a big issue for the Bolts

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers eludes Marquis Haynes #98 of the Carolina Panthers on a rushing play during the first half of a game at SoFi Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers eludes Marquis Haynes #98 of the Carolina Panthers on a rushing play during the first half of a game at SoFi Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

2. The LA Chargers do not have reliable depth behind Austin Ekeler

If Austin Ekeler gets injured then the LA Chargers are going to be in a daunting situation. This is exactly what happened to the team last season as we saw players such as Troymaine Pope and Kalen Ballage getting the bulk of carries for the team.

The running backs behind Ekeler simply cannot be trusted. Could they surprise us all and turn out to be quality depth? Absolutely. Should we be banking on that to be the reality? Not at all.

Justin Jackson has potential but he definitely deserves the injury-prone tag. Jackson cannot stay healthy, and really, has shown so little that his potential might not even amount to anything. He had a good game against Pittsburgh three years ago. We get it. Maybe we shouldn’t give him credit for that anymore.

Behind him is Joshua Kelley, who was statistically the worst running back in the entire league last season. While Kelley is young, as someone who watched all 16 games last season, I simply do not see it with the former UCLA Bruin.

I would love to be proven wrong, but I do not think Kelley gets past his rookie contract in the league. It was a bad pick when it happened that has been made worse by the outcome.

Then we have Larry Rountree, who was a surprising selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Rountree has potential, as does any rookie running back, but trusting a late-round running back to be the saving grace of the running back depth in year one is quite the ask.

Next. 53-man roster predictions following the 2021 NFL Draft

There is no reliability there. If it does not go perfectly, the running back position is extremely flawed.

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