Austin reveals why he was all for Brandon Staley playing the Chargers starters in Week 18 | Ekeler’s Edge

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler and Yahoo Sports’ Fantasy Analyst Matt Harmon discuss the decision by Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley to play the team’s starters in a meaningless week 18 game. While many disagreed with this move, Austin tells you why he believes this what the right move last Sunday in Denver. Catch fresh episodes of Ekeler’s Edge every Wednesday on Yahoo Sports and your favorite social media platforms. Listen to Ekeler’s Edge on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast wherever you get podcasts.

Video Transcript

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AUSTIN EKELER: I think it was actually beneficial for us that we went out there because it showed, it reiterated that you cannot go out there and play sloppy and just expect to win the game.

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MATT HARMON: This is from-- I hope I'm pronouncing this right-- Aditya. What do you think of the decision of Coach Staley to play the starters for most of the game in week 18 and his explanation for it, Austin? That's a tough question here, not as feel good.

AUSTIN EKELER: Yeah, I mean, here's the thing. When you're in a position of decisions for anything, you have to make them. And there's going to be times where it's going to be tough, where some people might see it one way, some people might see it the other, some people are going to be salty. You can't please everybody, especially when you have a tough decision. That's what makes a tough decision tough.

And so Coach Staley was presented with one of those. And I can see both sides. Whether I sit on either side, bro, I'm going to go out there and play. That's what I sit on. I have other teammates that might think otherwise. But for me, I'm like, whatever Coach is saying, obviously, we have to go out and do because he's the one leading, captaining our ship. And he made a decision that he wants his guys to go out there and play.

And for me, sure, let's go out there and play. You're never expecting-- I know there's the risk of people getting hurt. People do get hurt. Obviously, Mike got banged up that game. Not good. It's not good if anyone gets hurt ever. And so, sure, you could have avoided that. But I honestly think it was a blessing for us because our defense was getting dunked on. Offensively, we had two turnovers that cost us points.

And I think it was a reminder. I think there was some lessons in that. You can't just show up and go out there and play-- you guys got to bring it. You cannot play sloppy. I think it was actually beneficial for us that we went out there because it showed, it reiterated that you cannot go out there and play sloppy and just expect to win the game. That's not how this league works.

We were playing the Broncos, who had been struggling all year. And we're supposed to be going on the streak and playing at a certain high level, and we didn't go out there and do that. And guess what, we got beat. So take that and go into the first round of playoffs knowing that. Yeah, how do you think we're going to respond? Now it's us to go out there and respond. So I'm appreciative that we went out there and played because I think we had a good message from just the way we did play and the way it turned out.

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