The Chargers have suffered some crucial injuries this preseason, as we all know by now. We still do not know how most of the injuries are going to turn out, and how effective those players will be after returning from those injuries.
In this post I am going to do my best to identify some teams around the league that have solid depth at some of the positions that the Chargers have been bitten by injuries, and where another team may have to cut a player that they otherwise would like to keep on their roster due to the numbers game. Today I am going to take a quick look at RB depth on other teams to see if the Chargers can stand to upgrade or if they are in pretty good shape.
Why look at RBs? Well Norv likes to run the ball, and the running offense in the preseason has been terrible...and I mean TERRIBLE. How terrible? Less than 200 yards in THREE games. Last in the league with 2.4 YPC average, and an average of 66 rushing yards per game. For reference, the next worst YPC average is at 3.0, over a half yard per carry better. That's abysmal. Granted, some of that could be due to OLine injuries, but there is a severe drop in talent when Mathews comes out of the game, and even more drop when Brown comes out of the game...the team could improve the depth here.
Most likely keeping: Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter
Most likely releasing: Kendall Hunter, Rock Cartwright, Anthony Dixon
Yes I have Kendall Hunter listed under both categories because I could see the team keeping 4 RB's due to their emphasis on the running game and the injury to Brandon Jacobs. Hunter has shown promise and has much less mileage than Jacobs and Gore, so the team might consider it an investment in the future to keep 4 RB's. Either way, there is some serious RB depth on this team, most of whom would be an upgrade to the Chargers RB's behind Brown.
Most likely keeping: Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas
Most likely releasing: Chris Ivory
It may come down to Chris Ivory or Pierre Thomas, either of which is most likely better than Battle/Brinkley and may provide an upgrade behind Ronnie Brown while Mathews sits out. Also we should note, RBs in New Orleans' system do catch the ball quite a bit, so there's that.
Most likely keeping: Tim Hightower, Roy Helu, Evan Royster
Most lilkely releasing: Alfred Morris
You may not know the name Alfred Morris. I didn't until I watched some of the Redskins this preseason, and the kid impressed. He received a lot of playing time with injuries to all three guys ahead of him, but still may get cut since those guys are all coming back. In the game against Indy, he had 14 carries for 104 yards and a TD. Granted that is one game, but it's more than any of the depth on the Chargers achieved.
So we can all see that there are some options out there. There may even be some guys out there worth keeping even after Mathews gets back, just due to his injury history. However, also keep in mind that both FBs currently on the roster can run the ball up the middle as well, while they may not have the same big play ability, they can be serviceable in this offense.
Feel free to chime in below in the comments if you like any of these guys or have other names that I may not have mentioned.