Ekeler headlines numerous Chargers injuries heading into Raiders game

Ric Tapia - The Sporting Tribune
Chargers have numerous players facing an uphill battle to play Sunday.

COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Chargers have numerous injuries heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Running back Austin Ekeler is doubtful still dealing with that ankle injury that kept him out the last two games.

“Just continuing to climb back,” Ekeler said.

The Chargers are trying to be cautious with him with the bye being so close and so he doesn’t face re-injury.

 “You don’t ever want to miss games but when you’re right up against the bye early in the season there’s some time there to make sure that maybe it’s manageable,” Ekeler explained. “Hey, let’s get 100% and then boom, ready to go after the bye. It’s a two week period it’s only one more game. So there’s definitely some of that into it as well. But I really want to make sure I keep on the right steps to get back and make sure this thing can run.”

Joining Ekeler as doubtful is safety Derwin James who injured his hamstring in the second half of the game against Minnesota. Cornerback Deane Leonard popped up on the injury report on Thursday with a hamstring injury. He is also doubtful.

They will be without center Corey Linsley is dealing with a non-emergent heart-related issue and will be placed on IR. Will Clapp will start in his place during that time.

Safety J.T. Woods will also miss Sunday’s game with an illness. 

“We’ll have to go with [S] Dean [Marlowe] and [S] Raheem [Layne],” Staley said. “Those guys will be ready to play.”

Joey Bosa has been dealing with a hamstring injury that has slowed him down during practice but has still managed to play. He is questionable heading into Sunday but it seems like he will go.

“He’s just a veteran player,” Staley said. “It’s different than a young player. Joey [Bosa] has been able to go through weeks where he hasn’t practiced full or practiced partly, and then he can play in the game.”

Safety Alohi Gilman is also questionable with a heel injury. He missed Wednesday and Thursday’s practice but was limited on Friday.

“He was out there today,” Staley said. “We’ll see how he progresses between now and the game, but his status is to be determined.”

Chargers will have linebacker Eric Kendricks returning this Sunday after missing the last two weeks with a hamstring injury. Even though he is returning Staley said Kenneth Murray will continue to wear the green dot.

“I think he’s gained a lot of confidence and trust with his teammates,” Staley explained. “The last two weeks, he’s had really, I think, winning performances — certainly, a game ball in the last game. He just needs to continue to make the progress. He puts in all the right work and I think you’re seeing all the results from all that hard work.”