On Thursday afternoon, the Chargers announced that the team will retire the jersey numbers of Pro Football Hall of Famers Charlie Joiner (#18) and Kellen Winslow (#80) during the team’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins on September 10th.
Joiner played wide receiver for the Chargers from 1976 to 1986. He was a fourth-round pick from Grambling State in 1969 by the Houston Oilers where he played for four years before a stint with the Bengals from 1972-1975. In his 10 years with the Chargers, Joiner caught 586 passes for 9,203 yards and 47 touchdowns. When he retired from the NFL, Joiner held the NFL record for receptions and receiving yards in a career with 750 and 12,146, respectively.
Winslow was drafted by the Chargers with the 13th-overall pick in the 1979 NFL draft out of Missouri. Despite being 6’5 and weighing over 250 pounds, Winslow’s style of play was much more comparable to a wide receiver than a traditional tight end, and that’s what made him so dominant during his era. He led the NFL in receptions in both the 1980 and 1981 seasons as part of the vaunted “Air Coryell” offense and finished his nine-year career with 541 receptions, 6,741 yards, and 45 touchdowns. He was a consensus All-Pro from 1980-1982 and was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team.
It’s only fitting that Winslow gets his jersey number retired during the Dolphins game as the Hall of Famer’s career is headlined by the incredible performance he put on in the Epic in Miami, an incredible 41-38 win where Winslow was famously photographed while being carried off the field by his teammates. In that game, Winslow caught 13 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. By the end of it all, Winslow was treated for a pinched nerve in his shoulder, dehydration, cramps, and a massive cut on his lip that required several stitches.
Congrats to these two legends. This honor is well-deserved and it’s about time their numbers were retired.