Chargers place Austin Ekeler on IR with hamstring injury

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Chargers placed running back Austin Ekeler on injured reserve Friday, making him the seventh Los Angeles starter to go on IR this season.

Ekeler was injured during the first quarter of Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay. He led the AFC with 378 scrimmage yards after the first three games.

Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley are expected to be the main running backs in Ekeler’s absence. Kelley leads the team in carries (52) but has fumbled in two straight games. Jackson missed the first three games with a calf injury but saw limited action last week.

Los Angeles is 1-3 going into Monday’s game at New Orleans. Wide receiver Mike Williams (hamstring) returned to practice Friday after missing last week’s game but guard Trai Turner (groin) and offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga (back) remain sidelined.

Besides Ekeler, the Chargers have defensive end Melvin Ingram (knee), defensive tackle Justin Jones (shoulder), cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (foot) and linebacker Drue Tranquill (leg) on injured reserve with the possibility of returning at some point this year. Safety Derwin James (knee) and center Mike Pouncey (hip) suffered season-ending injuries.

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