COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Chargers will miss two key players on Sunday when they face the Minnesota Vikings in running back Austin Ekeler and linebacker Eric Kendricks.
Ekeler is dealing with an ankle injury he sustained in week one against the Miami Dolphins. During his weekly podcast, he said he hopes to return “sooner rather than later.”
That means the offense will count on his backup Joshua Kelley to carry the load this week as he did against the Titans.
Kelley has shown a lot of growth the last two weeks, rushing for 130 yards on 29 carries with a 4.5-yard per carry average while adding a touchdown.
“I think it just really confirmed what I already knew about myself,” Kelley said. “I think a lot of this league is about circumstances and opportunity.”
This Sunday would have been an opportunity for Kendricks to face his former team, but he didn’t practice this week and will miss his second straight game.
He did work off to the side, so there is some positivity.
Rookie linebacker Daiyan Henley is questionable going into Sunday, but he did practice the last two days, and the defense could use a spark. Maybe he is it.
He admitted that the last two weeks were tough to sit on the sideline, but he is ready for the opportunity.
“Right now, I’m going to be behind K9 (Kenneth Murray) and Nick just learning because I’ve lost those weeks,” Henley said. “But with that being said, I’m going to try to make that role that I’ve always been expected to make on special teams.”
Edge rusher Joey Bosa is also questionable with a hamstring injury. He was on a pitch count last weekend and was able to sack Ryan Tannehill twice.
If he plays, will he be on a pitch count yet again?
“We’re still discussing it,” Bosa said. “But what I’ll say is, I’ll definitely be playing.”
Other questionable players are edge rusher Chris Rump (hamstring) and defensive lineman Christopher Hinton (back).