There is only one question mark on the Chargers and that is the status of 2-time pro-bowl running back, Melvin Gordon. The Chargers are prepared to enter this season with an undrafted RB and 7th round RB as their tandem. Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson are preparing for business as usual and have no problem carrying the workload. Justin Jackson is used to the heavy workload. He had over 1,100 rushing attempts in college while he re-wrote the record books at Northwestern. His amount of touches in college are a big reason he slipped so far in the draft. Given that an RBs career in the NFL is short-lived so they look for RBs that haven’t taken the abuse in college.
As much as Melvin Gordon helps the Chargers win games, they were 4-0 without Gordon in 2018. Justin Jackson and Austin Ekeler carried the Chargers to wins against the Steelers, Bengals, Chiefs, and Broncos during the final stretch run. The Chargers enter 2019 with higher expectations than they have had since LT was here. The timing of this holdout couldn’t come at a worse time for the team. They have one goal in mind and that is to get to the Super Bowl, they don’t need this on their plate this season after going 12-4 in 2018.
Austin Ekeler was outstanding last year and fans and fantasy owners already know what he can do. We love seeing him play the air guitar for his TD celebration. But, he’s undersized so it’s uncertain whether he can carry the ball 20 times a game. This makes the production of Justin Jackson so much more valuable. With the uncertainty of Gordon Ekeler and Jackson will need to play huge roles in the passing game as well. One thing to point out, Ekeler had a higher yard after contact than Melvin did in ’18. Rivers is no stranger to shouldering the workload but he’ll need help from these two in order to be effective.