Chargers running back Austin Ekeler managed just 14 carries for 18 yards on Sunday, and head coach Brandon Staley says the team may give backup running back Joshua Kelley more carries may to get the offense going.
As Staley discussed problems with the running game, he was asked if Kelley could see more touches and answered, “Yeah,” before elaborating.
“Competition for carries is going to be something that you can see happening,” Staley said. “We’re going to keep exploring, making adjustments, so that we can find that rhythm that I’ve been talking about. That’s certainly one way to do it.”
Ekeler is averaging a career-low 3.5 yards per carry and has a career-low 42.9 percent success rate this season. After an offseason in which Ekeler complained about his contract and the Chargers responded by adding some incentives to his deal, Ekeler’s production isn’t justifying his $6.25 million base salary.
But Kelley hasn’t been much better, and neither has backup Isaiah Spiller, who has only had 12 carries for 27 yards this season.
Staley noted that the Chargers ran the ball very effectively in Week One against the Dolphins.
“We’ve done it, we just haven’t done it consistently,” Staley said.
With the 5-7 Chargers’ season hanging by a thread, they’ll need to figure out a way to do it consistently for the next five weeks, no matter who is carrying the ball.