Biggest position battles of LA Chargers training camp:
4. Backup running back — Justin Jackson vs. Joshua Kelley vs. Larry Rountree
Austin Ekeler has the RB1 job locked down and he projects to be one of the best running backs in the league this season. We already know what Ekeler is capable of and a full season with Justin Herbert, in an offense that will be similar to the Saints, Ekeler will be great.
It is the group around him that is potentially worrisome. As it currently stands it is hard to get excited about the running back room in LA and if Ekeler were to get hurt then the room as a whole could be in serious trouble.
The Chargers should be hoping that one of the three options really steps up and makes the decision a no-brainer in training camp. Because if not, the team might be deciding between mediocre options and that is never a position a team wants to be in.
Justin Jackson has shown flashes, and only flashes, of being a solid RB2 but he cannot stay healthy. He is already going to start one step behind as he was placed on the COVID-19 list to start training camp.
Joshua Kelley was atrocious last season although there is hope that he can be better with a better offensive. Finally, we have Larry Rountree, who has potential, but is just a rookie that, quite frankly, doesn't totally wow me on film (some like him and that is okay).
Even if Ekeler stays healthy the second running back is going to be an important position for the offense. The Chargers may not need another Melvin Gordon for Austin Ekeler, but they need someone who can consistently step up.