|Intro||American football player|
|Is||American football player|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||17 May 1995, Eaton, Weld County, Colorado, USA|
Austin Ekeler (born May 17, 1995) is an American football running back for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Western Colorado and signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2017.
Ekeler attended and played high school football for The Fightin' Reds at Eaton High School in Eaton, Colorado.
Ekeler attended and played college football at Western Colorado from 2013–2016.
As a freshman, Ekeler started nine games. He led the team with 1,049 rushing yards to go along with seven rushing touchdowns. As a sophomore, he had 14 rushing touchdowns and set school records with 1,676 rushing yards, 2,093 total all-purpose yards, and 190.3 all-purpose yards per game. As a junior, he had 19 rushing touchdowns and led Division II in all-purpose yards per game with 203.9 and scoring, averaging 12.6 points per game. As a senior, he had 1,495 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.
Ekeler signed a three-year, $1.66 million contract that includes a $5,000 signing bonus with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft.
In the season opening 24–21 loss to the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, Ekeler had two receptions for 18 yards in his NFL debut. In Week 4, against the Philadelphia Eagles, he had his first career touchdown, a 35-yard rush, on his first NFL carry. On November 12, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he had 10 carries for 42 yards to go along with five receptions for 77 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Overall, he finished his rookie season with 260 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 27 receptions, 279 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns.
In the 2018 season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, Ekeler had 39 rushing yards to go along with five receptions for 87 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in the 38–28 loss. He scored a receiving touchdown in Weeks 4 and 5 against the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders. In Week 14, against the Cincinnati Bengals, he aggravated a neck injury, which sidelined him for two games. He returned for the regular season finale against the Denver Broncos and scored a rushing touchdown. Overall, in the 2018 season, he finished with 554 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, 39 receptions, 404 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns. The Chargers earned the #5-seed for the AFC Playoffs. In the Wild Card Round against the Baltimore Ravens, he had 43 scrimmage yards in the 23–17 victory. In the Divisional Round against the New England Patriots, he had three receptions for 19 yards in the 41–28 loss.
Ekeler began the season as the starter while Melvin Gordon was in a contract dispute. In Week 1, Ekeler rushed 12 times for 58 yards and the game-winning touchdown, in addition to six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns in the 30–24 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts. In Week 2 against the Detroit Lions, he rushed 17 times for 66 yards and a touchdown with additional work in the receiving game, recording six receptions for 67 in the team's 10–13 loss to the Lions. In Week 3 against the Houston Texans, Ekeler rushed nine times for 36 yards and caught seven receptions for 45 yards. In Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins, Ekeler rushed 18 times for 60 yards and one touchdown and caught five passes for 62 yards and one touchdown in the 30–10 win. During Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans, Ekeler had only seven rushing yards but had 118 receiving yards as the Chargers lost 20–23. In Week 11 against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football, Ekeler rushed five times for 24 yards and caught eight passes for 108 yards in the 24–17 loss. During Week 14 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ekeler finished with 101 rushing yards on just eight carries, with four receptions for 112 receiving yards, and a touchdown as the Chargers won 45-10. He was the sixth player ever, and the first since Herschel Walker in 1986, to average over 10 yards per carry and reception in a 100/100 game; it was only the fourth 100/100 game of the decade. Overall, he finished the 2019 season with 557 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns to go along with 92 receptions for 993 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns.
On March 16, 2020, Ekeler signed a four-year $24.5 million contract extension with the Chargers.
In Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Ekeler rushed 16 times for 93 yards and caught 4 passes for 55 yards during the 23–20 overtime loss. In Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers, Ekeler recorded 143 yards from scrimmage and a rushing touchdown during the 21–16 loss. In Week 4, Ekeler suffered a hamstring injury and a hyperextended knee and was expected to miss four to six weeks. He was placed on injured reserve on October 9, 2020. He was activated on November 28, 2020.
NFL career statistics