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Chargers 2019 player rankings No. 15: The hammer on defense

LA Chargers (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LA Chargers (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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OAKLAND, CA – DECEMBER 24: Safety Charles Woodson #24 of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by linebacker Denzel Perryman #52 of the San Diego Chargers in overtime at O.co Coliseum on December 24, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – DECEMBER 24: Safety Charles Woodson #24 of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by linebacker Denzel Perryman #52 of the San Diego Chargers in overtime at O.co Coliseum on December 24, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman: Why he isn’t higher

Why he isn’t higher:

By no means is Perryman at 15 a slight against the player or person, because he’s been a solid presence in the middle of the defense when on the field. Unfortunately, No. 52 has only appeared in 42 games, which is only about two-thirds of his possible 64. As the list reveals better and better players, something like health will ultimately be the tiebreaker; with Perryman, health has been hard to come by. There’s one or two more players on the list ahead of him who have dealt with similar injury problems, but were much more dominant on the field than Perryman was.

It’s clear even the Chargers themselves do not feel secure with No. 52 being the man in the middle, re-signing him to only a two-year deal this past offseason. What’s more, the team has apparently been trying both last year’s WILL starter Kyzir White and this year’s rookie fourth-round selection Drue Tranquill at the MIKE position, indicating they need to at the very least be ready for another injury to Perryman or even potentially replace him as the season progresses.

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There’s plenty of room to move up this list, though, and a healthy return to form for the now-slim middle linebacker should put him higher than any linebacker on this list. But due to health concerns, lack of availability, and no strong vote of confidence from the organization, Perryman sits at 15 for now.

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