Earlier today, Chargers slot receiver Eddie Royal was reduced from questionable, to doubtful for Sunday’s match-up against the Cincinnati Bengals. Eddie has been struggling with a toe injury since the Indianapolis game, and suffered a chest injury in Arrowhead last weekend. Royal has 34 receptions for 484 yards, and 7 touchdowns on the season. Despite being injured, he had 87 yards on 4 catches against Kansas City. That type of production will be sorely missed tomorrow. This means that the Chargers won’t have one of their best receiving threats. Antonio Gates is also questionable with a hamstring injury, and said that if the game were to be played on Friday, he didn’t know if he could play. Let’s hope that he can play, and draw those double-teams that allow Green & Allen to be explosive. My point, is that we need all hands on deck, and they have to be productive.
Once again, the Chargers will be fielding a rag-tag fleet of receivers. Not to say that the guys who are healthy can’t get the job done. However, those players will have to fill these shoes. I have little doubt that “Rookie of the Week” Keenan Allen will have a great game. Ladarius Green has been getting better & better each week. Danny Woodhead has to be the most impressive free agency acquisition of the offseason, and can’t do any wrong in my eyes. Seyi Ajirotutu is another one of Philip’s security blankets from those old glory days, and made the season’s most clutch catch last weekend. But, he is nursing a hamstring injury, as well. Which leads us to the topic at hand…. Vincent Brown… “this is it”. Prove that you deserve to be on this roster. For you, the season starts Sunday.
I won’t get into Brown’s production this season. I think we all know where that conversation starts, and where it ends. I’m looking to what needs to happen this week. The only thing that I WILL say about the past is that he had ‘zero’ catches last week, in a game where we scored 41 points. Vincent is a player that was lighting it up at the end of 2011. He was lighting it up before he suffered a broken ankle in the 2012 preseason. We were all anxious to see him light it up this season. Unfortunately, he has struggled, for whatever reason. There is a lot of speculation as to “why” he has struggled. Any number of those speculations may be accurate.
I am calling out Vincent Brown this weekend. I don’t think he would have even seen the field as much this week, had Royal’s injury situation not been downgraded to “doubtful”. Ajirotutu would most likely have cut into those snaps. But, he will be lined up in the slot, and MUST make an impact on Sunday. We know that he has the talent. We’ve seen him go up for those tough catches. We have seen Philip put passes right on the money, but Brown has dropped them. We have seen him run the wrong route twice, ending up in key interceptions. But, that video of Brown going up for those passes against the Raiders in 2011 are still stuck in my mind. I’m looking for a big game from Vincent Brown, in front of the home crowd. He must earn our trust back, and the trust of his quarterback.
Light it up, son!!!!
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