Drue Tranquill has been the best linebacker for the Chargers over the last few weeks. His reward: Losing the starting job to a player sent home last week.
Drue Tranquill has been a revelation at linebacker for the Chargers over the past three weeks, games in which the rookie linebacker was finally given more opportunities with snap counts of 58, 41, and 56. Against the Broncos, No. 49 earned an elite run defense grade. Against the Jaguars, Tranquill tied his season-high with seven tackles. Over has past three games, he’s registered 12 run stops.
His reward? Losing the starting job to a player who was sent home for missing a team meeting.
Anthony Lynn has made some questionable personnel decisions this year, but this one (at face value) may be his worst yet.
Now, it is possible this is all smoke and mirrors. There’s a chance Tranquill is on the field much more than advertised, and at the very least Chargers fans should expect him to be there on passing downs.
But the rookie out of Notre Dame deserves so much more than that, and to give his job back to a player who now has an issue off the field (missing a meeting) on top of having a subpar season is puzzling.
Perryman has averaged a Pro Football Focus grade of 81.7 over his past three games (absent from the Jaguars game), indicating some sort of late-season improvement. While he has been effective, keep this in mind: That grade average has been on a total of 58 defensive snaps across all three games, with an average of just 19 per game.
Perryman may just be the starter on paper, but for now, it’s surprising to hear he’ll get the job back just a few days removed from being disciplined by the team. Tranquill deserves a shot, and considering the difference in contract value between he and Perryman, maybe it’s worth giving the inexpensive rookie his shot. Or, does that very contract give Perryman the right to start in the eyes of the coaching staff?