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Brandon Staley on Austin Ekeler’s injury: We’ll see how it goes in the next few weeks

The Chargers did not place running back Austin Ekeler on injured reserve, leading to the expectation that he would return sooner than later. A trip to IR would have cost him at least four weeks.

Ekeler will miss his second consecutive game this week, and coach Brandon Staley made it sound as if Sunday’s game won’t be the last one Ekeler misses before returning from his ankle injury.

“He’s working hard to get back,” Staley said. “We’ll see how it goes here in the next few weeks.”

Ekeler was doubtful for Week 2 before being ruled out. His initial designation for Week 3 was out.

Staley was asked if that was an implication of a step back for Ekeler in his rehab.

“No implication,” Staley said.

Ekeler, 28, injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of the season opener against Miami. He rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

During his “Ekeler’s Edge” podcast on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Show earlier this week, Ekeler described his injury as a “day-to-day, week-to-week situation.”

“Dealing with the ankle. I’ve dealt with ankles in the past,” Ekeler said. “You’ve just got to get it to a point where you feel good, where it’s taped up and you can actually feel like, ‘If I get tackled, it’s not going to be re-aggravated and set me back to where I was before, where I could barely walk on it.’

“It’s not something that’s going to be like, ‘Ah, he’s out for several months’ type of thing. It’s a day-to-day, week-to-week situation. I like the progress that I’ve made so far. Hopefully back sooner than later.”

Ekeler missed only nine games in his first six seasons and had not missed a game since 2021 when an ankle injury sidelined him for a game.