LA Chargers News

Chargers: Five reasons to be optimistic about injuries

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 29: Michael Davis #43 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates with Drue Tranquill #49 after a interception against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 29: Michael Davis #43 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates with Drue Tranquill #49 after a interception against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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CARSON, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 06: Joe Flacco #5 of the Denver Broncos passes the ball under pressure from Uchenna Nwosu #42 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of a game at Dignity Health Sports Park on October 06, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 06: Joe Flacco #5 of the Denver Broncos passes the ball under pressure from Uchenna Nwosu #42 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of a game at Dignity Health Sports Park on October 06, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Chargers get to see what Uchenna Nwosu can do

Though the loss of Melvin Ingram as an all-around pass rusher and run defender was to be missed, the sentiment around Chargers fans seemed the same: Uchenna Nwosu was going to bring it.

Personally, it was harder to see Nwosu take such a small share of snaps than it was to not see Forrest Lamp or Nasir Adderley not on the field. The latter two aren’t exactly experienced NFL players, but Nwosu had shown almost immediately that he can be a game-changer. In his rookie preseason appearances, the former USC product notched three sacks. In the playoffs, he rewarded the Chargers with a game-sealing strip sack of Lamar Jackson.

So with Ingram out, fans were eager to see what he could do with extended playing time. And, well:

Uchenna Nwosu earned an ELITE 90.8 defensive grade in week 5. Among all edge defenders, this grade was second highest in the league. He racked up 5 total pressures, 4 tackles, 3 assists, 4 stops and a forced fumble pic.twitter.com/aLPCe3QoYe

— PFF LA Chargers (@PFF_Chargers) October 7, 2019

It’s almost as if the guy who flashed in the preseason, regular season, and postseason last year should be given a few more snaps. What’s with this team and second-round picks?

Actually, Nwosu playing less snaps than this writer would like him to can be explained easily: He does have Ingram ahead of him, who has proven to be better for longer.

Fans have begun to murmur about the possibility of using Nwosu over Ingram in the future, and moving on from the veteran or even trading him. While it’s tough to ignore Nwosu’s potential, trading Ingram (unless the draft haul is incredible) would make the Chargers look awful. Rather than get rid of Ingram, the defensive coaching staff should be looking for a way to get their three best pass rushers on the field at the same time.

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