The health of the Los Angeles Chargers’ backfield is in question after running back Austin Ekeler aggravated a neck injury during the waning moments of the team’s 26-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Ekeler was injured while bidding to recover a Bengals’ onside kick attempt during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s contest. He remained on the field for several moments before being helped to the sideline.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Ekeler will require further testing as the Chargers (10-3) brace for an AFC West showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs (11-2) on Thursday (8:20 p.m. ET).
“It’s important right now that we just get back to being healthy,” Ekeler said. “We have to get back in there and do all of our recovery. It’s a short week, so it will be a big mental week.”
Ekeler, who had 94 total yards and a touchdown against the Bengals, has carried 98 times for 496 yards with two scores this season. The 23-year-old also caught 39 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns.
Fellow running back Melvin Gordon reportedly is in line to return to action after missing the last two games with a knee injury.
The 25-year-old Gordon was injured on a reverse early in the second half of a 45-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 25, with a leg whip by defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche taking him down for a 10-yard loss.
Gordon has a team-leading 802 rushing yards on 153 carries for a 5.2 per-carry average. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Gordon also has 44 catches for 453 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns (nine rushing, four receiving) on the season.