LA Chargers News

Chargers lose another tight end to torn ACL

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Austin Roberts #88 of the UCLA Bruins reacts after scoring a touchdown on a short pass play during the first half of a game against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Rose Bowl on September 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Austin Roberts #88 of the UCLA Bruins reacts after scoring a touchdown on a short pass play during the first half of a game against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Rose Bowl on September 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Chargers are dropping like flies.

We’re less than three days into training camp, and another Charger has gone down with injury.

According to ESPN’s Eric Williams, head coach Anthony Lynn confirmed that undrafted rookie tight end Austin Roberts suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire 2018 season.

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said undrafted rookie TE Austin Roberts out of UCLA suffered an ACL knee injury in practice on Saturday is done for the year.

— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) July 29, 2018

The Chargers lost cornerback Jason Verrett (torn Achilles) on the first day of conditioning tests and tight end Hunter Henry (torn ACL) at OTAs. The depth at corner is solid, but tight end is another story.

The Chargers signed Roberts in May following the injury to Henry. At UCLA, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Roberts saw action in 21 games (six starts) and combined for 34 catches, 481 receiving yards and three touchdowns in his last two seasons (2016-17). He was a long shot to make the 53-man roster, but it’s still baffling to see another player get hurt so early on, especially at the position that’s the thinnest on the team. Virgil Green, who was signed to a three-year, $8.6 million contract in the offseason, will see the field often, but he’s primarily a blocking tight end. And the other tight ends on the roster–Sean Culkin, Braedon Bowman, Ben Johnson and Cole Hunt–don’t have a single career catch to their names.

The Chargers are in talks with future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates, but the 37-year-old remains unsigned. Perhaps general manager Tom Telesco will get a deal done sooner or later after what happened to Roberts. If they don’t bring Gates back, look for the team to claim one off waivers.

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