1-Man’s Opinion Column-Wednesday “Big Injury-Big Receiver-Big Void”

Posted by on September 14th, 2016  •  0 Comments  • 


“Big Injury-Big Receiver-Leaves Big Void”


They won’t say it, but I will.

This is a terrible setback the Chargers suffered in the 2nd quarter in Kansas City on Sunday. The loss of star young wide receiver Keenan Allen is a massive hit to the offense.

Aside from a season ending injury to quarterback Philip Rivers, this would be the worst type of loss to this Chargers offense.

Keenan Allen had become a critical go-to guy. A playmaker. A guy to make the tough catch in traffic. A receiver who gave you big yards after the catch.

He had 65-receptions in half a season last year, when he went down with that lacerated kidney. He had already caught 6-passes in a 20-minute span in the opening half against the Chiefs.

You don’t replace that type of productivity. It would be like the Steelers losing Antonio Brown, or the Cowboys having to go the distance without Dez Bryant.

Keenan Allen not only made plays for the Bolts, he changed the game.

Because of his explosiveness, his dynamic abilities on a wide variety of routes, he made everyone else around him even better, more dangerous. He would draw safety coverage over the top and the top cover corner on his side of the field.

It would allow the tight ends to beat linebackers. It would spread defenses sideline to sideline, opening spaces for Travis Benjami. It would allow Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon to became factors in the Rivers passing game.

Antonio Gates and the developing young tight end Hunter Henry will become bigger pieces in the passing game, along with ex-Chief and journeyman Sean McGrath.

The inside slot guy, Travis Benjamin, now becomes a primary target of the quarterback, and a target for DBs who want to knock his 5’9 frame into next week. He can fly, but will he get hurt.

Allen is out, just like veteran Stevie Johnson, the younger wide out Jevontee Herndon, plus pass catching backup tight end Jeff Cumberland. That’s alot of option receivers you had planned to be on the field, now not on the roster.

Yes, the Chargers have youth at the wide receiver spot, and hope-believe they have someone to step into that starting spot,who can be productive.

1st in line will by Tyrell Williams, the free agent, who in a cameo appearance last year, had an 81-yard TD catch vs Denver, and who is big and productive, but young.

Dontrelle Inman, the CFL import, has shown flashes of being a good route runner, and now will get more snaps, but he is rail thin and takes hits.

On the developmental squad is Dominic Williams, who played well in preseason, after a nice career at Washington State, but he has never played in an NFL regular season game.

Ex-Packers-Raiders veteran James Jones, with over 420-career receptions, is out on the street, but doesn’t seem able to blend into the route trees that the Chargers run for Rivers.

Of the street free agents out there, Wes Welker, is the biggest name, but he has had concussions, and is more a slot guy, the position Benjamin plays.

Other veterans include ex-Viking-Bills receiver Percy Harvin, who has a history of injury-attitude issues; Brian Hartline, a solid route running veterans from the Browns and Dolphins; Journeyman Hakeem Nicks, a once promising New York Giant; ex-Ram Brandon Gibson; and former Chief Jason Avant. Just released from other camps, are Chris Givens of the Eagles, and Giff Whalen of the Colts.

A wildcard could be Seyi Ajirotut, who has had a couple of tours of duty with the Chargers, and is good at special teams, who also bounced to the Carolina Panthers. Ex-Charger and Aztec Vincent Brown is out there also.

If they wait till week six, they could revisit with Jevontee Herndon, waived injured, who was productive last year as a reserve.

None of those on any GM’s list are difference makers, and that is a quandry.

The Chargers need big time catches, big yards after catches, a blocker down the field, and somebody trustworthy.

Yes Philip Rivers makes receivers better, just remember the short term success he had with an acquisition like Donnario Alexander, but those success stories are few and far between.

The Bolts staff spent the entire off season planning an offensive package around Allen, that would make every other component, pass and run, even more dangerous. They’re not going to junk the system because of that injury, but it takes away the explosiveness that Allen had, and that he allowed everyone else to have, in different coverages.

Tough challenges coming up to re-design the offensive to a degree.

As if Chargers head coach Mike McCoy did not have enough trouble in San Diego already.


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