Chargers’ receivers banged up in win


The San Diego Chargers walked away with a big win over the Houston Texans. Unfortunately, they walked away a little banged up, too.

Wide receivers Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman both suffered injuries on Sunday. According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Williams exited the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a shoulder injury, while Inman is dealing with a possible concussion.

Chargers WR Dontrelle Inman missed end of game, being evaluated for possible concussion. He passed the test. Cleared. Not in protocol.

— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) November 27, 2016

Inman led the Chargers in receiving yards against the Texans, racking up 119 yards on six catches, including a 52-yard touchdown reception. Williams finished with a career-high eight catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. They did this against the Texans’ fifth-best passing defense.

With top receiver Keenan Allen out since Week 1, the Chargers needed other players to step up–and that’s exactly what Williams and Inman have done. Williams leads the team in receiving yards (790) and receiving touchdowns (five). Inman has had at least four catches and 40-plus yards in his last four games. These two have played a big role in helping the Chargers rank No. 2 in scoring offense.

What’s crazy is that Williams is an undrafted free agent who came into this season with two career catches. The second-year pro out of Western Oregon has exceeded expectations (possible Pro Bowl nod?), and he will form a dominant duo with Allen going forward. Inman, who is in his fourth year with the Bolts, was an ex-CFL player. He’s come up with some big catches when called upon.

Quarterback Philip Rivers needs these guys, especially Williams, who possesses a rare combination of height and speed. He is a perfect fit for Rivers and this offense.

And it’s tough seeing Rivers run out of weapons by the minute. Losing both of these receivers will hurt the team’s chances of winning–and we all know they can’t afford to lose another game if they want to make the postseason.

Travis Benjamin, who was signed in the offseason, missed a few games with an injury this season. He was active on Sunday, but he didn’t make an impact, catching just one pass for eight yards on two targets. He’s likely not 100 percent healthy.

And that’s a big problem, because the Chargers are out of options after that. Wide receiver Griff Whalen was released earlier this week to make room for former Broncos and Vikings running back Ronnie Hillman, but Whalen wasn’t any good to say the least. The Chargers might be forced to run a lot of two-tight end sets with Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry next Sunday, or even have a player like Hillman (if he is ready) play the slot.

Hopefully, Williams and Inman will be ready to go next Sunday when the Chargers host Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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