The San Diego Chargers receivers aren’t considered an elite unit, especially with future Hall-of-Famer Antonio Gates moving one year closer to retirement. But they all have NFL physical characteristics that allow them to make a solid contribution to the offense when called upon. Don’t forget that Philip Rivers is an elite quarterback, who makes the talent around him much better.
Getting to know your roster depth: tight ends and wide receivers:
WR Jacoby Jones
Jacoby Jones is best remembered for his 70-yard game-tying touchdown catch in the closing minutes of the 2012 AFC Divisional playoff game that help propel the Baltimore Ravens to their second Super Bowl title. The Chargers brought Jones in primarily as a return specialist, but a nagging ankle injury has prevented him from being an option on the field. Hopefully, his eventual return to the lineup allows Jones to become a dangerous target in a four-wideout set.
TE David Johnson
David Johnson might be the most versatile player on the roster, as he listed as a backup tight end on the depth chart but his true value to the Chargers is at the fullback position. Johnson has great lateral quickness and balance that helps him dominant defenders off the snap of the ball. His superior blocking technique makes him the ideal lead blocker in short yardage situations. Usually, backup tight ends become frustrated with the way they’re used in the offense, but Johnson fully understands his role is key to the Chargers success each week.
WR Dontrelle Inman
Dontrelle Inman is the Chargers’ diamond in the rough, as he opened some eyes with his play in the home victory over the Cleveland Browns in Week 4. The unit was decimated with the injuries that occured in the contest, and it was Inman’s time to shine. He connected with Rivers on a big pass play that sparked the Chargers to a come-from-behind win. The coaching staff loves how he runs crisp, fast pass routes and makes himself a big target across the middle. Don’t be surprised if Inman’s role expands in the coming weeks, especially if the wide receiver position doesn’t receive some relief and have the starters return to the lineup.
TE John Phillips
Every NFL team should have a John Phillips on their roster, as he’s a natural blocker that will catch a pass in heavy traffic. The one drawback to his skill-set is Phillips’ lack of speed, which limits the amount of yards gained after the catch. Often, he is best used in a variety of three-tight end formations that maximizes his blocking talents.