Ekeler is one of my favorite late-round running back targets thanks to the every-week role he has even with Melvin Gordon in the lineup. In 14 games with Gordon, Ekeler averaged 8.5 touches for 68 yards and 0.45 touchdowns, and he has fantasy RB2 upside if anything were to happen to Gordon.
Austin Ekeler was the starter in the Chargers first preseason game while Justin Jackson saw a few touches, including a short touchdown. ESPN's Eric Williams has seen more of a 50/50 split in camp, so maybe that's how it will end up, but at the moment the first preseason game should be more indicative of snaps. With Gordon out, we will get a good idea of how the snaps and touches are doled out with the next two preseason games.
Gordon should get a nice-sized workload assuming he can stay healthy enough to remain in the game, but he's obviously not going to be 100-percent against the Patriots. After Gordon's touchdown against the Ravens, Ekeler and Jackson worked a couple of drives before Gordon came back in with the contest a one-possession game.
Gordon later returned to the game in the beginning of the second quarter. He finished the game with 17 carries for 40 yards and a touchdown but didn't look himself. The Chargers get the Patriots next, but those looking to play Gordon have to wonder about both of his knees. Ekeler and Jackson are likely to get their share of the workload.