Chargers backfield committee will be determined by ‘flow of the game’ if Justin Jackson’s out
Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson will likely miss Week 10 after playing just three snaps last week.
“Probably gonna rest him this week and give that knee a chance to get well, but we’ll see,” coach Anthony Lynn said of Jackson, via Gilbert Manzano of the L.A. Daily News. “He’s a competitor, he wants to play. But I just didn’t like the way he looked last week when he came out the game early.”
Jackson likely sitting throws the Chargers backfield into a committee task — a dreaded phrase for those in the fantasy football community.
“It’s the flow of the game,” Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said. “You kinda go with it and see how it’s rolling. See how guys are playing.”
Joshua Kelley, Troymaine Pope and Kalen Ballage are the expected beneficiaries of Jackson’s absence.
Pope was removed from concussion protocol on Wednesday and returned to practice. He could regain snaps after missing last week. Pope rushed for 67 yards on 10 carries in Week 8.
Kelly led the Chargers in snaps last week but once again struggled on the ground (28 yards on nine carries) while Ballage ran better — 15 rushes for 69 yards and a TD. Kelley played the bigger pass-catching role (five catches, 31 yards).
Ballage was elevated from the practice squad after stints with Miami and the New York Jets, and impressed Lynn.
“I think he’s taking the coaching,” Lynn said of Ballage. “I think he’s better than what he was when he was at those places (Dolphins and Jets). But it didn’t surprise me when he went into the game and had some success. The young man has a nice skill set.”
Until Austin Ekeler returns — which doesn’t sound close — the Chargers backfield appears destined to be a hot-hand operation. Whichever back cuts loose early will probably see the majority of carries that week.