The running back room has not been great for the LA Chargers in 2021. While Austin Ekeler has been fantastic this season, he has not gotten much help from the rest of the running back room.
Justin Jackson has shown some flashes but he does not have the most important ability: availability. Behind him, Larry Rountree and Joshua Kelley have both been really bad and are two of the most inefficient running backs in the sport.
The team has been keeping Ekeler's workload in check in order to keep him fresh for the 17-game season and the playoffs so it is important that the Chargers have a solid second running back. While the situation might seem bleak now, the perfect target just hit the market for the Chargers to explore.
The LA Chargers should sign Phillip Lindsay.
The Houston Texans waived Phillip Lindsay on Tuesday and the LA Chargers just got their newest potential free-agent target. With how the waiver wire has transpired this season, Lindsay will probably go unclaimed and become a free agent that is free to sign with any team.
Lindsay has not really done much for the Texans this season. Lindsay has only carried the ball 50 times in 10 games for 130 yards and one touchdown. His 2.6 yards per carry is admittedly awful but he would still be a welcomed addition to the team.
First and foremost, Lindsay adds another weapon in the passing game for Justin Herbert. While Austin Ekeler is an elite receiving back, both Kelley and Rountree are bad receiving backs and are not threats when they are on the field. Lindsay opens up the playbook to target another running back that isn't Ekeler.
Second of all, it is not like the Houston Texans have the best offensive line to run behind. Houston as a whole ranks dead last in both rushing yards per game and rushing yards per attempt this season. Everyone is struggling in Houston and that is more indicative of the team and play-calling than it is Lindsay.
Let's not forget that we are only two years removed from Lindsay having back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Should the Chargers expect that out of him again? Probably not, but the potential is obviously there for Lindsay to be a positive impact both carrying the football and as a receiving option.
It also cannot get much worse than Kelley or Rountree. I think it is safe to say that Kelley's potential is not that high and the team can comfortably release him without fear of losing out on too much. They are going to draft a running back in 2022 anyway with Jackson being a free agent, so opening up the roster spot for Linsday to come in the rest of the year is not a bad thing at all.
If Lindsay struggles then the Chargers are in the exact same situation that they already are in. He has a low bar to clear to be better than Kelley, and with his track record, it is an extremely low-risk, high-reward move to make.
There is no better time to bring Phillip Lindsay back to the AFC West than the week before the LA Chargers take on the Denver Broncos. Make it happen, Tom Telesco!