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How to handle Austin Ekeler injury in Week 12 fantasy football

Austin Ekeler is on the Chargers final injury report for Week 12. We break down what it means for fantasy football roster decisions.

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) celebrates with tight end Hunter Henry (86) and center Dan Feeney (66) after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at SoFi Stadium. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Game status: Austin Ekeler is ACTIVE for Week 12. Kalen Ballage is INACTIVE for Week 12.

Game day update: Austin Ekeler is set to be active and play on Sunday, per Ian Rapoport. With Kalen Ballage potentially out, Ekeler will split work with Joshua Kelley and Troymaine Pope.

The Los Angeles Chargers could have a familiar face back in the lineup this week. The team activated running back Austin Ekeler on Saturday, making him eligible for their Week 12 game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Fantasy impact: Austin Ekeler (Hamstring, knee)

Ekeler returned to practice this week, after a lengthy stint on the injured reserve list with a hamstring issue. He has not seen any action since Week 4. He had 248 rushing yards and a touchdown before going down, along with 144 receiving yards.

It’s possible Ekeler is inactive or slowly worked back into play, but we think he ends up with a solid workload in his return. He makes a solid starter in fantasy football lineups, and he gives the Chargers’ muddled backfield some actual clarity. Kalen Ballage would normally be the next man up, but Ballage is dealing with an ankle injury that has him questionable for this game.

Ekeler’s return likely means Joshua Kelley and Troymaine Pope both get a bump back down the depth chart.