When the LA Chargers drafted Isaiah Spiller in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, many believed that he would be a key contributor to this offense. Unfortunately for the rookie running back, that hasn't been the case.
Through the first four games of the season, Spiller is yet to be on the active roster. He has been a healthy scratch in each contest.
The Chargers have struggled heavily to move the ball on the ground. Through four weeks, they have just 258 rushing yards. This is the lowest in the NFL. Along with this, they are averaging just 2.7 yards per carry, which is also the lowest in the NFL. They have also scored just two rushing touchdowns.
Austin Ekeler, who has been among the league's best running backs in the past, has gotten off to a slow start. The veteran ball carrier has rushed for just 140 yards and two touchdowns this season.
When looking past Ausitn Ekeler, the rest of the Chargers' running back room has also struggled.
Joshua Kelley and Sony Michel have both spent time in the RB2 role. And neither has fully taken over the spot.
Kelley has carried the ball 13 times this season. He has rushed for 55 yards and is currently averaging a team-high 4.2 yards per carry. Despite leading the team, Kelley has been unable to receive consistent snaps, for whatever reason.
Michel has gotten off to a much slower start. The 27-year-old running back has rushed for 58 yards on 22 carries. He is averaging 2.6 yards per carry, which is the least among all three running backs.
Even with the struggles at the position, head coach Brandon Staley has been relucent to give Spiller his first chance in a regular season game.
Earlier in the season, Staley made it clear that Spiller hadn't yet done enough to beat out either Kelley or Michel for snaps. But with the struggles that the running back room has faced, it may be time to finally give the rookie running back an opportunity.
During his time at Texas A&M, Spiller was elite. In three seasons, he rushed for 2,993 yards and 25 touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. While he isn't expected to produce at that level in the NFL, he could still be effective. And more importantly, he could allow this offense to try something new.
When the Chargers brought in Michel, they were hoping that he could be the player that he once was. But clearly, that is not the case as he has struggled over the first four games. And by now, they know what they are getting out of him in a regular season game. The same cannot be said for Spiller.
With the team dealing with injuries, and Keenan Allen potentially being out yet again. It could be the perfect opportunity for Justin Herbert and the Chargers' offense to add another option to the mix. If Spiller struggles then he can fall back behind Kelley and Michel once again.
But there is a chance that he could be the player that the Chargers expected him to be when they drafted him. And it may be time to give him a chance.