“Next man up.”
That’s always been the mantra for football teams, Brandon Staley’s Chargers included.
This year, top wideouts Keenan Allen and Mike Williams missed 11 and four games, respectively. Their absences forced other lesser-known names to step up for Justin Herbert, and at times, they succeeded in doing just that.
DeAndre Carter recorded career highs in catches and receiving yards. The same can also be said for Gerald Everett. Their contributions helped keep the Chargers’ metaphorical ship afloat through some of the roughest stretches this season, but the two veterans actually came up short in the running for the Chargers’ most-surprising contributor.
For the Bolts, that player was none other than sophomore wideout Joshua Palmer.
“The Chargers spent much of the 2022 season playing without Keenan Allen and/or Mike Williams, forcing Justin Herbert to rely on lesser-known targets,” says Shook. “One of those targets was Palmer, a wideout who played a marginal role in his first NFL season before more than doubling his yardage output out of necessity in Year 2. Palmer finished with 72 catches for 769 yards and three touchdowns, filling in and capitalizing on the opportunity. Los Angeles was clearly a better team with Williams and Allen both available, but Palmer deserves commendation for doing a solid job of replacing them when required.”
As a rookie, Palmer caught 33 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns while starting 11 games and playing in 16 total. The Chargers drafted him in the third round of the 2021 draft in a move that some fans probably believed was more of a “luxury pick” with Allen, Williams, and Jalen Guyton still on the roster. But after seeing how bad things got in the receiver room this season, could you imagine if Palmer wasn’t on the team? Especially in the team’s playoff game against the Jaguars?
I personally don’t want to even try.
So here’s a big shoutout to Josh Palmer for coming through when he was needed the most this season.
Were there any other players on the Chargers that you believe could have been a better choice for this article? Who else was a surprise contributor? Let us know in the comments below.