The Chargers recorded their first win of 2023 without Austin Ekeler's help last weekend. They might need to do it again Sunday.
Ekeler (ankle) is doubtful for Los Angeles' Week 4 meeting with the Las Vegas Raiders, per the team's official injury report.
It's one of an abundance of Los Angeles injury concerns heading into Sunday: safety Derwin James (hamstring) is doubtful to play and outside linebacker Joey Bosa (hamstring/toe) is questionable. The team is also expected to place center Corey Linsley, who has been ruled out, on injured reserve Saturday due to a non-emergent, heart-related medical issue, NFL Network's Bridget Condon reported.
Ekeler was limited in every practice during the week while he attempts to progress toward a healthy return following two weeks spent inactive due to injury. In his absence, the Chargers have attempted to rely on Joshua Kelley, but have largely abandoned an ineffective rushing attack in favor of the pass.
Justin Herbert led the Chargers to a comeback win over the Vikings in a thrilling affair in Minneapolis last weekend, finding a way to throw Los Angeles to victory without Ekeler available to balance the Chargers' offensive attack.
Linsley's absence will likely make more of a long-term impact. The center appeared in 16 games in 2021, 14 contests in 2022, and had played in all three games leading up to Week 4 in 2023. An All-Pro in 2020 and Pro Bowler in 2021, Linsley is expected to be replaced by six-year veteran Will Clapp.