Melvin Ingram’s injury is confirmed and he has a torn ACL. That takes forever to heal! Just ask Derrick Rose about it (sorry, bitter Bulls fan).
Now we need to figure out if there is enough depth on the roster to fill his spot. Next man up! The next men on the roster would be Larry English and rookie Tourek Williams. Are they ready to use these guys o every down? Even if we do use these guys on every down, look at how bad the depth is behind them. We would have to trust Jarrett Johnson to be used more and hope he can put pressure on the quarterback and Tourek and Larry Boy would have to duke it out to see who wins the job. Who is behind them? Nobody really.
The Chargers better look to free agency to try and fill that hole. There will be a ton of talk about Dwight Freeney until we have this whole thing settled in. Freeney was making the conversion as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense before he was injured last season. He was working with Chuck Pagano to learn the system and could be a possibility. He is looking to get a nice payday and the Chargers may have to bite the bullet and give him some money. We can still save some dough by releasing a few players to get Freeney signed.
Another option could be LB Nick Barnett. Barnett played outside linebacker for the Buffalo Bills last season and excelled. He isn’t the pass rushing force that Freeney is, but he is good in coverage and can help bridge the gap until next season. Barnett is also a Southern California native.
Either of the linebackers would be my top choice in free agency. They would allow Tourek Williams and Larry English to drop back into that sub role and we wouldn’t need to rely on them on a ton of snaps.
We could also wait till June 1 and see if another player becomes available. That could be risky though, because other teams may sign the guys that are already available.
And we thought left tackle was our biggest issue!!!