Chargers fans and fantasy football owners everywhere were patiently waiting for Austin Ekeler's game status for Week 4's matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. Ekeler has not played since Week 1 and he was listed as doubtful on Friday's injury report.
Social media posts made by Ekeler and his family seemingly indicated that the star running back would be playing against the Raiders. However, Chargers fans and fantasy football owners got the bad news that Ekeler was officially made inactive for Sunday's game.
Chargers' Austin Ekeler ruled OUT in today's game vs Raiders
The Chargers are going to continue relying on Joshua Kelley, who has gotten the car keys as the RB1 with Ekeler out the last two weeks. Fantasy owners who picked up Kelley have been disappointed thus far as the former UCLA Bruin has been unable to build on a strong Week 1 performance.
Los Angeles has faced two defenses that set Kelley up to fail in the last two weeks. The Tennessee Titans have one of the best-run defenses in the sport while the Minnesota Vikings blitzed at an unprecedented rate. Against a bad Las Vegas Raiders defense, Kelley should have a better game.
Fantasy owners still won't get Austin Ekeler-level numbers from Kelley, but it should be a better showing for the fourth-year running back. Kelley is worth a flier if there are no other alternatives from the late slate or the primetime games.
As for Ekeler, fantasy owners are going to have to survive another week without the star running back as the Chargers have a Week 5 bye. This has not been the start to the season that Ekeler or fantasy owners were hoping for but hopefully, it can lead to more impactful games later in the season when the going really gets tough.