Good morning, Chargers fans!
To the relief of the Chargers fan base, Austin Ekeler took the field for the first time on Wednesday since he injured his ankle against the Dolphins in Week One. He wasn’t 100 percent, but the back is confident he’s progressing in that direction as quickly as possible.
Wednesday’s practice saw him sprint and hop on the ankle just fine, but Ekeler later told the media that he’s yet to feel confident when it comes to lateral movements such as cutting.
“I can run full speed straight ahead right now,” Ekeler said. “But if I go turn — that’s where I have been trying to build back towards.”
Ekeler still noted that playing this Sunday against the Raiders is a “possibility.”
“I’m not at a point where I’ve gone out there and tried to push it 100% yet,” Ekeler said, “That’s not how the process works. You continue to build yourself back. It’s kind of like climbing the stairs. You’re not gonna just jump straight to the top stair and tell me, ‘Oh yeah, I can make it there.’ You kind of go one-by-one, ‘OK, now we’re progressing towards 100%.’ So I haven’t been there yet.”
In the end, it might be in Ekeler’s best interest to take this week off with the bye following behind it. One more game off means two solid weeks of rehab before making his return in Week 6 against the vaunted Cowboys defense on October 16th.
And now for today’s links.
Keenan Allen got slimed by his family after winning the NVP for Week Three (Chargers.com)
Why Nick Niemann has played a vital role in the defense early on for the Chargers (Chargers.com)
What are the reasons for optimism against the Raiders? (Chargers Wire)
Justin Herbert received a middling grade for his historic performance against the Vikings (Bolt Beat)
Ranking the coaches on the hot seat entering Week Four (CBS Sports)
Bill Barnwell ranks six quarterbacks who could be benched the soonest (ESPN+)
Robert Saleh says his door is “always open” to Joe Namath after the former quarterback ripped Jets (Pro Football Talk)
The most underrated players from Week Three of the 2023 NFL season (Touchdown Wire)