When it rains, it pours (metaphorically of course, it never rains enough in California). Not only do the San Diego Chargers start the second half of the season with a 2-6 record, but injuries have continued to pile up on this roster.
The biggest loss came last Sunday in Baltimore against the Ravens, when Keenan Allen made a spectacular catch at the end of the half, but also suffered a lacerated kidney. While Keenan has
already had the procedure done, and would have been ready to return in 6 weeks, the Chargers placed him on season-ending IR. Probably a good idea to save him for next season, but it’s still hard to come to the realization that even the organization is essentially saying this season is now over.
KA13 was having one of the best receiving seasons in Chargers history and could have easily set the franchise record for receptions. He was also ranked in the top 3 for both receptions (67) and yards (725). With him down, who will Philip Rivers be turning to for the rest of the season?
The free-agent signee has been dependable but hasn’t stood out yet so far this season. With Allen gone, he will now step up into the #1 receiver role for this team. Johnson possesses a lot of the same skills and traits as Allen with his great hands, crisp route-running, and moves after the catch. He had three straight 1,000 yard seasons in Buffalo from 2010 to 2012, so you know he can be the number one
guy in an offense.
Allen has been gobbling up a ton of receptions but with him sidelined, Johnson should be getting the majority of looks the rest of the season. He hasn’t scored a TD since week 2 but look for him to be
heavily involved as Rivers is forced to throw 30+ times a game.
He will face off against a porous secondary Monday night against the Chicago Bears, looking to add to his season totals of 24 receptions, 283 yards, and 2 TD’s.
The 12-year veteran has stated this is his final season playing, and while he has never been the flashiest guy on the team, Floyd has been one of the most consistent. When people refer to wide receivers as “divas” that term has never incorporated Floyd. He had one of his best careers last weekend against the Ravens when he hauled in two TD’s; including a 70-yard bomb, the longest of his career.
While he isn’t the possession receiver like Stevie or Keenan, Floyd can provide the occasional deep threat. He’s also a huge red zone target at 6′ 5″ and can win the majority of jump balls. His other TD in the Ravens’ game came from a 9-yard 50/50 ball from Rivers that Floyd snagged over the corner. He has gained 409 yards on just 21 receptions and has three TD’s. With his increase in involvement the rest of the season, he could easily have one of his best seasons on his farewell tour.
Inman has shown flashes when presented the opportunity in both the preseason and small spots during the season. He will now slide up to the number 3 receiver, and in this pass-happy offense that will mean a lot of looks his way. He could even work his way higher up the depth chart because of Stevie Johnson’s nagging injuries and his play-making ability.
Inman made his mark in the Canadian Football League a few years ago and even displayed his skills for the Chargers last season. In two games at the end of last season he hauled in 12 catches for 158 yards. His 6′ 3″ frame allows him to highpoint the ball and win most battles with smaller corners, but also has speed to burn for yards after the catch. He is really a nice mix between Stevie and Malcom in terms of the traits he possesses. If he can get the timing and chemistry down with Rivers soon, watch out, he could be very valuable to the offense.
A lot of Chargers’ fans are excited about seeing this guy. Herndon was an undrafted rookie that signed with the team last season and has been patiently waiting for his promotion to the active roster. With the recent cutting of Jacoby Jones, Herndon will be thrust into an important roll of returning punts and kickoffs. Jones was lacking the explosiveness and the spry 23-year old will be looked upon to provide, a historically bad special teams unit, a spark.
Over the past two seasons, Malcom Floyd has been an important mentor for Herndon as he learns the ropes of the NFL. He also will bring something that could help him see the field a lot more, knowledge. Herndon knows how to play all three wide out positions on the Chargers’ offense. This could be a huge factor in how much he could see the field right away. The University of Arkansas product is ready to prove himself, and now he gets the opportunity to do it. I know a lot of Chargers fans are anxious to see what he can do.
Can’t wait to see what these receivers have in store on Monday Night Football when they face off with the Chicago Bears. Going to miss KA13 though. Bolt up.
Nick was born and raised in San Diego where he became a Chargers and Padres fan, attending numerous home games throughout the years with his dad. He then went on to attend college at the University of Arizona. There he earned his degree in marketing and now lives in San Francisco where he dreams of the the sunny beaches of San Diego. Bear Down.