Branden Oliver will be stuck as the 3rd back on the roster and may not see much playing time this season for the San Diego Chargers.
With Melvin Gordon taken in the first round of the NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers and 3rd down specialist Danny Woodhead back from his injury, what will the role be for Branden Oliver? At this time, he has to fight to see any action on the field and training camp has not even started up yet.
Gordon was taken with the Chargers first pick to take a ton of the carries and to shoulder the load in the running game. He will be the workhorse on the roster and will be counted on to make big plays for the team. When Gordon is sitting out, he will likely give way to Danny Woodhead to give him a breather and to take some snaps in passing situations.
We already know what Woodhead will bring to the offense when he is on the field. He can run the ball in between the tackles and is an outlet for Philip Rivers on passing situations. He has a nose for the first down and will come in clutch on 3rd down plays. He is a big time weapon for the Chargers when he is on the field.
Where does that leave playing time for Oliver? Oliver came up big for the Chargers in a couple of games last season. He put the team on his back in the running game and worked his way to a pair of 100+ yard games. He is not a feature back, but could be a perfect change of pace back on the roster. The only issue is that he is a very similar back to Woodhead. If you had to choose between the two backs to put on the field, Woodhead would be the back to get the playing time.
Oliver likely will see plenty of time on the bench this season unless there is an injury to one of the main backs or if Gordon is a major flop. I won’t believe that Gordon will flop, so I can’t see Oliver getting much playing time at the moment. He will have to wait for his time to shine. When he finally does get the opportunity to play, he will have to be electric.
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