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How to handle Austin Ekeler injury in Week 15 fantasy football

Austin Ekeler is on the Chargers final injury report for Week 15 Thursday Night Football. We break down what it means for fantasy football roster decisions.

Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs the ball for a first down against Isaiah Oliver #26 of the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Update: Jay Glazer says on the pre-game show that Ekeler will be on “somewhat of a pitch count.” That’s not all that informative, but worth noting. Unless you are in an 8-team league, you probably should go ahead and start Ekeler.

Update: Austin Ekeler is active and ready to roll. Get him into your lineup.

Game day update: Austin Ekeler is expected to play on Thursday, per Tom Pelissero.

The Los Angeles Chargers travel to face the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football to open Week 15. The short week means there is a little more to read into the injury report. The Chargers have eight players on the final injury report and had 16 total players make an appearance on the report at some point this week.

Running back Austin Ekeler is listed as questionable with a quadricep injury for Thursday’s game. He was relatively healthy in Week 14, not showing up on the injury report heading into their game against the Falcons. This week he was listed as a DNP on Monday’s practice report and then limited on Tuesday and Wednesday’s reports. It’s important to note that all three practices were described as walkthroughs and the practice participation reports were estimates.

Fantasy impact: Austin Ekeler (quadricep)

There’s been no indication Ekeler will sit on Thursday, but we won’t know for certain until game day. Usually national media will have updates on game day morning, and worst case, we find out when inactives are announced at 6:50 p.m. ET. The Chargers are playing in the first game of the week, so if you’re not sure what Ekeler’s status will be, you’ll know before all your other fantasy roster decisions. Kalen Ballage has emerged ahead of Justin Jackson as Ekeler’s primary backup.

It’s possible Ekeler is active and then gets a reduced workload, but that does not seem likely. It’s not a 100 percent guarantee, but this seems as much like gamesmanship as anything else. This is a great matchup for Ekeler with the Raiders giving up the third most fantasy points to running backs in the league. He’s worth playing even with the risk due to the considerable fantasy upside.