Oh my god, here we go again!
When you got the news of Mike Williams injury, I'm sure we all thought and or said something similar to this: “How can this be starting ALREADY!” Possibly something even more profane, and rightfully so. After all, the Chargers have suffered a massive, insane amount of injuries through out the last, what seems endless amount of seasons experiencing the same thing. That, in turn, leads to us saying “When or if we can stay healthy they are going to surprise people.” Then we are all surprised by how well they hang around in games even with all the endless injuries piled up.
It was important to add another receiver to the arsenal of Philip Rivers this off season. I’m sure we could all agree on that. When you have a number one target who is often injured, you need a backup plan in case that trend continues. Well, ironically enough the insurance policy the team drafted with the number 7 overall pick is injured with a herniated disk. Now there are conflicting reports out, some are saying he needs season ending surgery and some saying he won't because he is healing and feeling much better from nonsurgical treatment. Obviously, nobody wants to see him miss the whole rookie campaign. However, it's always better to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
In the case the team moves forward without the first round pick, we must stay calm and stay positive about the potential for the upcoming season. If Keenan Allen stays healthy, he can anchor the passing game on the outside nearly by himself. With his injury history, however, I’m not really counting on it. The fact is that new head coach Anthony Lynn wants to establish a power run offense. There is a great likelihood of passing attempts trending downward for Rivers. Many people also believe the depth for the Chargers at the receiver position is very deep. Theoretically putting them in a position to sustain the loss of Williams.
A healthy Travis Benjamin can be very productive, although he played through a hamstring issue last year. That means the pressure would shift on to the other Williams, Tyrell. He will need to show that he can continue to develop. Sure he is great at out running the defense on a short drag route. He has the speed to beat out a safety deep on a skinny post. What I noticed he lacked the most was the ability to fight for a ball in the air and come back on a back shoulder passes. This caused many interceptions that I wouldn’t necessarily credit to Rivers. However, the fact remains that his third-year break out year is coming up (hopefully).
He was a developmental project from the beginning and has visibly made his strides in each season thus far. Leaving me to believe that with a healthy Allen and improvement from Tyrell, the receiving core will be more than fine. That’s without even mentioning the arrival of Hunter Henry, last years second round pick who has looked like a future superstar and a successor for Antonio Gates.
With a completely revamped offensive line and Melvin Gordon hopefully also ready for a third year breakout year, this team can see an offensive rushing attack like it hasn’t seen since the days of the great LaDainian Tomlinson. Most will notice I didn’t mention Dontrelle Inman. However, I'm not as big of a fan as some Chargers fans seem to be. I would hardly say that it would be a good thing leaning on a guy who cants seem to get open against press or man coverage. He is a solid number 4 guy, however.
When it’s all said and done, you can see that the Chargers have plenty of in house solutions. If all of these things can come together and click, the Chargers offense can be a force with or without their rookie first rounder. I would also urge people not to be surprised if one of the undrafted receivers “comes out of nowhere” as the organization has a knack for finding at least one every few years.
Defense wins championships people. One receiver will not make or break this team. A New city with new coaching staff comes with the new hope that will not be ruined from missing one rookie.