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Can Jerry Tillery’s play bounce back following Chargers bye week?

Tillery has struggled while in a starting role.

Carolina Panthers v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Five weeks have come and gone already in this unique 2020 season and that’s enough time to be able to take a step back and reflect on the first quarter of the year. In his reflections, Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon decided to take a look at all 32 teams and come up with his “biggest disappointment” for each through Week 5.

For the Chargers, Gagnon believes a lot has been left to be desired with second-year defensive tackle Jerry Tillery following his drop-off in play the last three games.

“Injuries and typical Charger-like breaks from the football gods are the primary reasons for the Los Angeles Chargers to be disappointed early this season. They’re 1-4 with four consecutive one-score losses on their record, but that’s nothing new.

More quantifiable is their potential disappointment in sophomore defensive lineman Jerry Tillery, who sacked Burrow on the seventh defensive snap of L.A.’s season but hasn’t recorded a quarterback takedown since.

The first-round Notre Dame product also registered five quarterback hits in his first two games but has just one in his last three outings combined.

Tillery was hardly a factor as a rookie, but his snaps have increased significantly in Year 2. There’s still room for the 24-year-old to become a special player, but he’s been MIA far too often thus far in his career with the Bolts.”

Tillery’s current stat line for the 2020 season includes nine total tackles, one tackle-for-loss, one sack, and a blocked kick against the Chiefs. The unfortunate part is, as a starter the past three weeks, he’s recorded just one QB hit ... and that’s it.

At this point, Tillery has been “better” than he was last year, but he’s at his best right now as a rotational pass-rusher who can take advantage of both Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram coming off the edges. He still has a ways to go when it comes to stopping the run and creating havoc on his own so I don’t expect Tillery to ever play more than 50% of the possible snaps once Justin Jones is back from IR.

It’s still too early to push the “bust” label on Tillery, but as a former first-round pick, this is definitely not what the Chargers hoped they’d be getting out of him so far.