Walking Wounded: Chargers Injury Report
By Ernie Padaon
WR Buster Davis – Ribs – ProbableLB Larry English – Foot – OutWR Malcom Floyd – Hamstring – OutTE Antonio Gates – Toe – DoubtfulK Nate Kaeding – Groin – OutRB Ryan Mathews – Ankle – ProbableWR – Legedu Naanee – Hamstring – DoubtfulLB Brandon Siler – Foot – ProbableLB Kion Wilson – Ankle – IR
What a HUGE list of players that are sitting on the injury report! The passing game is is hurting bad for this game against the New England Patriots. The passing game is hurt the most with the injuries to Malcom Floyd, Legedu Naanee, and Antonio Gates. These receivers have combined for 1184 yards of the team total of 2016 yards. That is 59% of the passing game yards. These receivers have also combined for 11 of the 12 passing TDs caught. Buster Davis caught the other TD. Antonio Gates has the best chance to play of the 3 receivers, but it seems doubtful.
Other players will have to step up in the passing game. Patrick Crayton will be inserted into the starting lineup and finished last week with 117 yards. Crayton brings his veteran presence and intensity to the field. Buster Davis will likely be the other starter. Davis was a first round draft pick and has been up and down with his results. He has the ability to make big plays, yet he has dropped the ball on some critical plays.The likely 3rd receiver will be Seyi Ajirotutu. Tutu was just on the practice squad last week, but he knows the playbook and provides a big target in the passing game.
If Antonio Gates is unable to play, Randy McMichael will be the starter. He is another veteran player that should add some stability to the inexperienced receiving side. McMichael has been a starter his whole career while in Miami and St. Louis, and settled for a backup role in San Diego. He will be a key player in the red zone and on 3rd downs.
Darren Sproles may find a larger role in the passing game with all the injuries. Norv Turner will need to find a way to get players like Sproles on the field with all the injuries at receiver. There may be more opportunities for screen passes and may be used in the slot matched up against a LB.
LB Brandon Siler will be available to play and should add a spark in the middle of the defense. Siler will be splitting time with Stephen Cooper and Kevin Burnett. Siler seems to just finds ways to make big plays when he is on the field and the middle linebackers will have a tough task of covering TE Aaron Hernandez.
K Nate Kaeding will not be available for the game also and we signed K Kris Brown to kick the field goals for the team.