Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is out with a hamstring injury and should be on the shelf for 4-6 weeks. That leaves plenty of opportunity for both Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson, but Kelley has been the preferred pickup so far this season.
Kelley got an early opportunity with Justin Jackson hurt early in the year, but now Jackson’s back and healthy and getting opportunities. In their first full game without Ekeler, the split was fairly even to start, but Jackson saw the bulk of the work in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Kelley carried the ball 11 times for 29 yards and caught his only target for nine yards, while Jackson ran the ball 15 times for 71 yards and caught 5-of-6 targets for 23 yards. According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson had 53% of the snaps to Kelley’s 40%.
Jackson appeared to have better vision and slightly more burst than Kelley on the night, but it wasn’t quite as pronounced as the statistics show. I wouldn’t want to 100 percent choose one over the other, as they may end up going with a hot hand approach, but Jackson was in there in crunch time and was the preferred receiving back while looking like the better player on the night. If I had to choose, I’d take Jackson moving forward and with the Jaguars and Raiders in their next three games, there’s a real chance for some fantasy production before Ekeler returns.