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Austin Ekeler says he is out for Week 16 due to COVID-19

We break down the news that Austin Ekeler has been placed on the COVID-19 list. What it means for Week 16 and beyond.

Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs during a 34-28 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at SoFi Stadium on December 16, 2021 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Saturday update: Austin Ekeler announced on his Instagram that he tested positive again and is out for Week 16.

Friday update: Head coach Brandon Staley hasn’t given up on Ekeler just yet, hoping he can be cleared in time to play for Week 16.

Thursday update: Ekeler has a fantasy football podcast on Yahoo Sports and told Bills TE Dawson Knox that he should grab Justin Jackson because he is on the COVID-19 list. This isn’t a big scoop, but he does sound like he doesn’t think he’ll be cleared in time for the game.

Wednesday PM update: It took a while, but Ekeler has been officially placed on the COVID-19 list. The reason for the delay is unclear, but he will need to test out to be able to play this Sunday.

Wednesday update: Ekeler has yet to practice this week after reportedly testing positive for COVID-19. Ekeler never officially went on the COVID-19 list, but also isn’t practicing and thanked fans for their well wishes on Twitter. Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

Monday PM update: Ekeler was not on the COVID-19 list that the Chargers submitted this afternoon. It’s still unclear exactly why at this point. Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

The Los Angeles Chargers have placed their starting running back Austin Ekeler on the COVID-19 list heading into Week 16, per Taylor Bisciotti. He is considered day-to-day, which could mean his vaccinated or was just a close contact and wasn’t vaccinated. We’ll learn more in the coming days, but it sounds like he has a chance to play against the Texans this week.

If Ekeler can’t go this week, his touches would get split between Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley. Ekeler has been dealing with nagging injuries on and off this season, but has remained a great fantasy football asset, as he’s rushed for 789 yards and ten touchdowns, while catching 62 passes for 558 yards and seven more touchdowns.

Fantasy football implications

Justin Jackson has been the most used back after Ekeler, but things are fluid from week-to-week. Jackson would be the player I’d go for on waivers, but Kelley also has some fantasy appeal.