LA Chargers News

Mike Williams practicing in pads is great news for Chargers

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 26: Mike Williams
CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 26: Mike Williams

Los Angeles Chargers’ first-round draft pick Mike Williams is inching closer to his NFL debut.

We’ve got some good news, Chargers fans! Wide receive Mike Williams, the Chargers’ 2017 first-round draft pick (No. 7 overall), is practicing in pads for the first time.

Mike Williams practicing with pads today.

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) September 21, 2017

Williams, who was dealing with a lower back injury during the offseason and training camp, was activated off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to start the season, which was an early sign that he was ahead of schedule. Now that Williams is on the field with pads on, we should see the Clemson product suit up on Sundays sooner rather than later.

And the Chargers need Williams. Despite having a ton of options in the passing game, including wide receivers Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin and tight ends Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry, the Chargers rank 20th in total offense. The Philip Rivers-led attack does rank ninth in passing, though, but the team is averaging a meager 19 points per game, tied for 18th in the league.

Not only that, but they are the third-worst team on third down, converting just 25 percent of plays. Also, the Chargers rank towards the bottom in passes of 20-plus yards (four) and haven’t had a passing play go over 40 yards. However, the Chargers have thrived in the red zone, where they rank third in scoring percentage (touchdowns only) with an 80 percent conversion rate.

Hopefully, Williams, who’s known for his jump-ball ability, can create big plays down the field, as well as become a big target on key third downs.