Chargers key to victory No. 5: Send in the rookies
Against the Indianapolis Colts, Chargers rookies played just 21 snaps on offense or defense, with all 21 of them coming from defensive tackle Jerry Tillery. With Easton Stick and Cortez Broughton inactive, the only other rookies available to contribute were Drue Tranquill, Trey Pipkins, Nasir Adderley, and Emeke Egbule.
Though both Adderley and Tranquill contributed on special teams (and excelled, for that matter) neither were given defensive snaps. Both were limited in recent weeks: Adderley had only played one preseason game, and Tranquill had been dealing with soreness following his last appearance against the San Francisco 49ers.
But, at what point should the Chargers send in the rookies?
25 carries for 174 yards and a touchdown to Marlon Mack is incredibly concerning, even if the Colts may have the best offensive line the Chargers will face all season. The Chargers didn’t seem to have any answer on defense in the second half; but still, Adderley and Tranquill sat and watched.
And they watched plays like this:
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 8, 2019
It’s not to say inserting Adderley would have immediately negated this touchdown, but one would have to assume the rangy free safety would have made a better tackle attempt than No. 23, Rayshawn Jenkins.
If the Chargers would like to fix their run defense, they should try out some of their best preseason players.