That game was crazy for so many reasons. We will definitely have some articles and podcasts through the week that dive deeper into the madness that took place at SoFi Stadium vs the Cleveland Browns, but for now lets look at who played and how often.
The only real thing of note here is that after the early injury to Oday Aboushi, after only 5 snaps, Michael Schofield took over at RG for the rest of the game. This will be a position to watch over the next few weeks as it appears that Aboushi is done for the year. It will be interesting to see if Schofield takes over fully as the RG going forward or if they put Brenden Jaimes in at RG to keep Schofield available as a backup with his T/G versatility.
The first big change here with playing time was Asante Samuel Jr. He dropped down to 40% of the snaps this week, and it wasn’t just due to Chris Harris Jr being back from injury. Brandon Staley said after the game that they felt Asante needed some time to calm down. Basically, the 2nd round rookie had a couple rookie moments and the staff decided they needed to put Tevaughn Campbell in a bit more.
With the team needing to focus on (and ultimately failing at) stopping the run this week, Forrest Merrill played 21% of the snaps to try and get some additional strength and beef on the field in the interior of the DL. It didn’t ultimately work but the UDFA did manage to have 2 tackles in his 15 snaps.
Ryan Smith has finally joined the team and in his 11 special teams snaps he made it VERY clear as to why the Chargers hyped up his signing and held onto him while he worked his way back to being healthy. In 11 special teams snaps he had 3 tackles, almost forced a fumble, and even when he wasn’t making tackles he stood out as a gunner. With the missed kicks and poor return game souring the special teams experience, Smith was a breath of fresh air.