The Chargers depth at WR—after the reconstruction of the offensive line—was considered the most important factor in the redemption of Rivers.
Dax was slated to be the no.2 WR on the depth chart, which moves Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen to two and three, respectively. While it’s not a tragedy that these two young studs are going to get a chance to shine, it’s a shame that Royal and Meachem are going to be moved up in the process.
Royal and Meachem were dead to rights before Alexander’s injury. They had cashed their checks and snapped zero necks.
Royal didn’t appear to be more than a glorified kick returner last season, but—now here’s the kicker(get it)—Royal didn’t even return kicks. That duty was taken on by Richard Goodman who did a pretty damn good job. Goodman had a return average of 27.6 in 2012, and Royal was never used.
Instead, Royal was busy averaging 23 receiving yards per game—hardly productive.
Meachem was doing much of the same with his addition of 14.8 receiving yards per game—Astounding.
People can blame Rivers and the O-line all they want, but his WR corps. was headlined by the lackluster tandem of Meachem and Royal.
The best thing that ever happened for the sake of Rivers’ 2013 campaign was the health of his newly stacked WR depth chart. In the wake of Dax’s injury, Meachem and Royal both move up in the depth chart and will surely make the team. They both say they are working to play better—and maybe they mean it.
But, for now this injury spells trouble for Rivers’ redemption year.