Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports that Justin Jackson has seemingly locked up the No. 2 running back role with the Chargers. The 25-year-old will serve as the handcuff behind talented dual-threat back Austin Ekeler in the 2021 season. His grasp on the backup role leaves a competition between two young backs for the No. 3 position. (The Athletic)
Earlier this offseason, speculation arose that suggested Jackson was trending towards being cut in late August. Now, though, it appears he has secured the backup job without even playing in a preseason game. In fact, according to Popper, “Jackson will play limited snaps if he does see the field at all” during the team’s preseason opener against the Rams on Saturday. This leaves an open competition for the third-string role between rookie Larry Rountree III and second-year back Joshua Kelley. “They are battling for the RB3 spot behind Ekeler and Jackson,” explains Popper. “I will be watching to see who plays more and who can be the more productive back — rushing, receiving, and in pass protection.” Jackson ranks 65th among running backs in the latest expert consensus redraft rankings. He’s a solid handcuff option in a high-powered offense that lost Ekeler for half of its games last year.