Is Chargers’ Forrest Lamp almost ready to make his return to the football field?
Chargers 2017 second-round guard Forrest Lamp was on his way to start at right guard as a rookie before tearing his ACL in last year’s training camp. He missed all of last season due to the injury.
With Kenny Wiggins leaving in free agency, the promising Western Kentucky product is penciled in at right guard yet again. But is Lamp fully healthy?
According to NFL Network’s Steve Wyche, Lamp recently underwent a minor cleanup procedure on his knee. Even though Lamp hasn’t been medically cleared to participate in all football-related activities, he has been participating in a few on-field workouts and such, as Wyche noted.
There will always be some concern when recovering from a torn ACL, but it appears as if Lamp is on the right track. A second surgery is always alarming, but the Chargers say Lamp should be cleared sooner than later. Will that be for organized team activities (OTAs)? Hopefully, that is the case.
Because Lamp’s addition to the starting lineup will be a huge upgrade over what the Chargers have had in recent years. Lamp was one of the best pass protectors in college, and he should also help improve the team’s run blocking, which was their biggest weakness last year.
But you don’t want to rush Lamp back if he’s not fully healthy. We saw what happened with cornerback Jason Verrett when he came back too soon (spoiler alert: he played in just one game last year before undergoing a second season-ending surgery on the same knee that cost him the final 12 games of the 2016 season).
If Lamp needs more time to recover, the Chargers will likely have the versatile Michael Schofield take over for the time being. Schofield, who was re-signed to a two-year, $5 million contract in the offseason, filled in for an injured Joe Barskdale at right tackle last year and did a decent job. Chargers 2018 fifth-round center/guard Scott Quessenberry and 2016 seventh-round guard Donavon Clark could see some reps at right guard, too.