This weekend’s big news is that Eric Parker is out for what may be 10 weeks after undergoing a surgery to repair a cracked sesamoid bone. This injury is an injury I am familiar with, and it can be extremely painful if you’re always running on it and never have a chance to rest it. I have slightly more down time in my athletic career than Parker, at this point.
What does this mean for the Chargers WR corps? Does it hurt to lose the leading receiver from last season? Well, I’d say, no.
No, because it gives the younger guys more reps with the first team. And this might sound slight, but reps with the first team O are huge for a young player. At first, they can be stressful, as you’re suddenly an NFL starter and you have a chance to become a star–but you also don’t want to embarrass yourself or show that you don’t have what it takes to be a starter. These are huge reps, and will make a young player a veteran quickly. A rookie is an inexperienced rookie, until he gets these reps; rookie’s usually don’t get these reps because they’re behind vets like Parker.
The leader that Parker is makes this a hard loss, but with a silver lining. He’ll be able to lead on the field, while giving young talent a chance to shine out of his shadow. Parker, although injured, can still be around the guys, helping young guys out in practice, acting as a player/coach of sorts. Look for guys like Davis, Floyd, Osgood, Jackson and Shackelford to get valuable reps and make some career breakout plays.