Austin Ekeler (ankle) expected to play Thursday night for Chargers vs. Chiefs

The Chargers are headed into a massively important Thursday night game. Justin Herbert will have his most versatile weapon alongside him.

Austin Ekeler (ankle) is expected to play against the Chiefs, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, per a source informed of the situation.

Ekeler has sustained more than a few bumps and bruises this season and landed on the team's injury report as questionable to play in the prime-time affair. Barring a setback, the plan is for Ekeler to play against AFC West-rival Kansas City, which currently holds a one-game lead over Los Angeles in the division standings with a month to go.

Ekeler played 33 offensive snaps in Sunday's 37-21 win over the New York Giants, receiving 12 carries for 67 yards and one touchdown while adding two receptions for 17 yards. He opened the game's scoring with a one-yard touchdown run, then watched Herbert connect with his teammates for three touchdowns before the Chargers took their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter.

Ekeler has been as much a linchpin as he's been a dynamo for Los Angeles' offense in 2021, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and accounting for 16 total touchdowns. When he's on the field, the Chargers have the full capabilities of their offense at their disposal, with Ekeler existing as a constant threat both on the ground and through the air. When's he's not available this season, the Chargers have entered a few offensive ruts.

With Thursday night presenting a significant challenge in the suddenly revamped Chiefs defense, Ekeler's involvement will be key. He'll give it a go in front of a national audience.

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