The best part about the start of a new season is that every team in the league is technically undefeated.
When it comes to the Washington Football Team, they have an excellent chance to keep a zero in the loss column against the Chargers on Sunday.
While the Football Team will likely be without Curtis Samuel, fans should still feel confident in their chances. While Samuel would be a huge miss, we can’t call him “essential” to what Washington does offensively, at least not yet.
Though they have big plans for Samuel, he falls behind Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson and maybe Logan Thomas in the touch pecking order. Bottom line? Samuel being ruled out, while not ideal, would be far from a nightmare scenario.
You know who can’t say that, though? The Chargers, who may be without the centerpiece of their offense on Sunday. We’re talking about Austin Ekeler, who was listed as a DNP in Wednesday’s practice due to a hamstring injury.
If Austin Ekeler doesn’t suit up on Sunday, the Football Team has no excuses not to beat the Chargers.
You don’t say?
We’d obviously never root for an injury, but Ekeler potentially missing Sunday’s opener would be huge news for the Football Team. For starters, Ekeler is as sure-handed as they come at the RB position when it comes to catching passes out of the backfield. In fact, he has the most yards after catch (1,423) among running backs, wide receivers and tight ends since the start of the 2019 season.
Ekeler’s presence would make Justin Herbert’s life a lot easier going up against Washington’s vaunted defensive line. Without the versatile RB, however, Herbert might not boast as much moxie as he typically would.
That isn’t to say Herbert will crash and burn without Ekeler. After all, Ekeler missed six games in 2020 with, you guessed it, a pulled hamstring, and Herbert still set the NFL ablaze. However, this is significant news given that hamstring injuries are always prone to flare up, even when a player who previously dealt with the ailment was said to be fully recovered from it.
There is, however, some mystery regarding Ekeler’s status, as he tweeted a hype video roughly an hour before his DNP was reported. That means he either tweaked his hammy shortly after sending the tweet, or he’s doing fine and his tweet was sent out as a means to talk Chargers fans off the ledge.
The intrigue is tangible. Is Ekeler the victim of a poorly-timed tweet or was he merely given a veteran rest day considering he’s locked in as the Chargers’ workhorse? We’ll likely know more before the weekend, but this is definitely a development worth monitoring for Washington fans.
If Ekeler is unable to go, the Football Team has no excuse not to come out of Sunday’s game with a victory.