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Palmer shines, T-Billy tending to minor injury and other notes from the first day of pads

Here’s what stood out to me on Monday.

Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The first day of pads for the Chargers came and went and you can go ahead and thank the stars that there weren’t any major injuries. As things stand, cornerback Ryan Smith walked off the field with trainers but the injury is not expected to be anything serious.

Other than that, the team came away almost completely unscathed.

Feel free to celebrate.

Below I wrote about several other takeaways from Monday’s practice.

Josh Palmer continues to impress

When the Chargers selected Palmer in the third round out of Tennessee, most of the fan base probably just saw an underwhelming performer in the SEC that didn’t play for one of the blue-bloods like Alabama or LSU. Those who studied Palmer during the pre-draft process knew they were getting much more than simply what the box score showed and the last few days of camp are surely making those scouts feel vindicated.

For what feels like every practice since camp started, Palmer has been making plays. Leaping, twisting, acrobatic plays that have left watchers in awe of his unique body control. Just today, Palmer caught a touchdown pass from Chase Daniel during the 11-on-11 period that was clearly thrown behind him and yet the rookie was able to seamlessly rotate against the grain to make the play.

The best part of the whole event was just how easy he made it seem. So natural. Sometimes, that’s all you need to see to know the team got themselves a good one.

Tyron Johnson dealing with swelling from minor ankle injury

During Brandon Staley’s post-practice press conference, the first-year head coach mentioned that Tyron Johnson sat out Monday’s practice due to minor ankle injury he sustained following one of his big catches he made over the weekend. Staley said he was experiencing some swelling but that’s about it.

This is good news for the young wideout who is seriously pushing the coaching staff for some legitimate playing time this season. What I said above for Palmer can almost all go for T-Billy, as well. Splash plays have been on repeat for him and fans are loving it.

Team removes pads halfway through practice in odd mix up

The hype for the first day of pads was as high and tangible as you’d expect. However, prior to the actual end of practice, the Chargers removed their pads and finished the remainder of the day without them due to what was being called a “mix up” regarding a league-wide ruling that prohibits teams from using full pads on the sixth day of camp.

General manager Tom Telesco took the blame when asked about the event and the team decided to immediately remove them in order to avoid any possible discipline from the NFL.

Michael Badgley and Tristan Vizcaino perfect in first real competition

Per Gilbert Manzano of the O.C. Register, Badgley and Vizcaino were both perfect on their kicks today with each making all five of their attempts. You could argue that the Money Badger still gets the edge on the day after nailing a long of 55 yards compared to Vizcaino’s long of 52. But at the end of the day, who cares when both kickers were good from 50+.

Badgley missed 12 kicks a year ago, good for second-most behind Dan Bailey’s 13, Badgley needs to strive for perfection if he wants to remain in his starting job for another year.