The Los Angeles Chargers are going to see if they can get what they hoped to get out of Jaylen Watkins this past season in 2019.
Watkins will reportedly return to the Chargers next season despite missing the entire 2018 campaign, his first with the team. In just the second preseason game, he tore his ACL and was placed on injured reserve.
Watkins was chosen in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. They released him the following year and he was signed to the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad. However, the Eagles apparently realized the err of their ways and plucked him right back from the Bills.
He then spent three seasons in Philly, registering 56 tackles and eight pass deflections.
The Chargers are likely hoping Watkins can be a versatile player the team can line up all over the field. Last season, it was assumed that he would rotate in on some defensive snaps, spelling both Derwin James and Jahleel Addae.
James became an absolute stud during his rookie season, but the team could have an opportunity at the other safety spot as Addae certainly had his struggles this past season.
Having a full season and the offseason to rest the injury, Watkins should be ready to go once training camp opens. The new deal he signs with Los Angeles is expected to be for one season.
In addition to Addae and James, the team also has Adrian Phillips at the safety spot. Watkins gives the Chargers more flexibility in the secondary and so long as his health is good, should be able to jump right in and earn playing time in the defensive backfield.