Austin Ekeler won’t be on the field on Sunday at NRG Stadium.
The Los Angeles Chargers running back announced on Saturday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 a second time, officially knocking him out for their game Sunday against the Houston Texans.
“Merry Christmas everyone. I just wanted to make an announcement because people keep asking me,” Ekeler said in a video on his Instagram story. “Today was basically my last day to test negative if I was going to be able to travel, and I tested positive. So I will not be playing this week. So there it is, I’m sorry. Be back next week though, let’s go.”
Ekeler has recorded 789 rushing yards so far this season, which is both a career-high and a team-high, along with 10 rushing touchdowns. He’s racked up 558 receiving yards and seven touchdowns through the air, too.
Ekeler landed on the Chargers’ reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday with linebacker Joey Bosa, defensive back Kemon Hall and center Corey Linsley. The Chargers activated eight players off their coronavirus list on Saturday, but also added wide receiver Mike Williams to the list.
Ekeler told Yahoo Sports earlier this week that he wasn’t feeling well after his diagnosis, and was not optimistic about playing against the Texans.
“Don’t recommend. Zero out of 10 fun,” he said. “Just dealing with this day-to-day. We have new protocols in place. I had to get tested every day and have two negative tests and no symptoms. And so right now, I can tell you it’s not looking good, just because of the history of COVID and how long it usually takes to dissipate or at least for your body to beat it. So, I’m just going to be chilling.”
The Chargers are currently listed as -10.5 point favorites on BetMGM against Houston. They will host the Denver Broncos next week, where Ekeler is expected to return.