The Chargers saw a change in their fortunes as they escaped with a 20-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon. While most of their close games have ended in disappointment, this one saw a different ending thanks in part to a solid performance from Austin Ekeler.
Still fresh off of a 2-month stint on the IR, Ekeler continues to improve as he works his way back from a serious hamstring injury. Many have wondered if LA should even be playing their star back this season with the playoffs all but out of the picture, but Ekeler put in the work to return to the field before his season came to an end. And if there were still lingering questions about his health, Austin answered all of them with his performance on Sunday.
A One-Man Show
Not only did Ekeler lead the team with 79 yards on 15 carries, but he also led the passing game with 9 receptions and an additional 67 yards through the air. He was a workhorse through many of the team’s long drives and proved that he was as close to 100% as he’s been in a very long time.
After the game, Ekeler was asked if he felt like he was back in game shape, to which the running back responded:
I’m getting there. I think I just lost some of my overall conditioning after sitting out for two months. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to recover that, but as far as the way my body feels right now, I’m still able to play and compete at a high level which is the most important. And my hamstring feels great, which is of the utmost importance because that’s obviously why I was out. So my hamstring still feels good, now it’s just bumps and bruises which is the daily grind of football.
It’s been obvious how much the offense missed having Ekeler in the backfield, and his return has helped spark an offense that was missing a running game to complement the passing attack of Herbert and Allen.
With only a few weeks left in the 2020 season, the team’s priority will be to keep him healthy while continuing to build the chemistry of an offense that has the potential to be a powerhouse for years to come.