Who is John Lott and why should we thank him?
Over the last several years, the Chargers have been one of the most injury-riddled teams in the NFL.
In 2016, starter after starter went down with injury. For example, the Chargers lost receiver Keenan Allen in Week 1, third-down running back Danny Woodhead in Week 2, middle linebacker Manti Te’o in Week 3 and cornerback Jason Verrett in Week 4; they were all placed on season-ending injured reserve. It got to the point where every Chargers fan got nervous when a player made a cut or was tackled. It was baffling.
Then came John Lott, the Chargers’ new strength and conditioning coach. Lott, who has been a strength and conditioning coach for over a decade with three different teams–the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals–joined Anthony Lynn’s staff last offseason.
Still don’t know who I’m talking about? He was a coaching star at the NFL Scouting Combine, helping players with the bench press.
— GMFB (@gmfb) February 22, 2017
As a Charger, his addition was overlooked due to the acquisitions of Lynn, a first-time head coach, and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. But it’s time to acknowledge the impact Lott made. Aside from injuries to 2017 second-round pick Forrest Lamp (missed rookie year with torn ACL), linebacker Denzel Perryman (ankle injury cost him the first eight games of the season) and Verrett (wasn’t fully recovered from the previous year’s knee injury to begin with), the Chargers stayed relatively healthy throughout the season. Come to think of it, the only two players who missed some games/played through injury throughout the year were right tackle Joseph Barskdale and linebacker Jatavis Brown. The luck ran out in Week 15, where several Chargers got banged up, including rookie running back Austin Ekeler, who broke his hand, and second-year tight end Hunter Henry, who lacerated his kidney.
Still, this was a team that’s been ravaged by injuries in the past and in one year with Lott, the injuries were minimal. Credit also goes to Lynn.
Thank you, Mr. Lott.