LA Chargers countdown to 2020: Greatest number 98 in team history

(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images) /

We are 98 days away from the LA Chargers opening the 2020 season against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Counting today, we are officially 98 days away from the LA Chargers kicking off the 2020 season against the Cincinnati Bengals. To countdown the days until Week 1, we are breaking down the best player in team history with the corresponding number of how many days remain.

There have been 11 players in team history to wear the number 98 with a current player on the roster wearing the number in Isaac Rochell, although he has not done nearly enough to be the greatest 98 in team history.

In fact, the greatest 98 in team history is not someone that lives as a Chargers legend and may easily be forgotten about. He was a solid player during his tenure with the Bolts, but certainly was not a groundbreaking player or even a Pro Bowler.

Greatest number 98 in LA Chargers history: DT Shawn Lee

Shawn Lee spent six seasons with the Chargers from 1992 to 1997 and was a consistent starter in all six years with the Bolts.

Lee was not carving out a long-tenured NFL career when he joined the Chargers. While there was some promise and potential there, Lee had mostly been a rotational player in his two seasons with both the Dolphins and Buccaneers. He recorded two sacks in his rookie season and did not match that number until he joined the Chargers.

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His first season with the Bolts was not all that special, either. He only started one game and recorded only seven tackles with half a sack. However, he was then given the starting duties in 1993, and that is where he turned into a solid defensive tackle.

The next three seasons served as the prime of Lee’s career. He had an Approximate Value of seven in all three seasons and recorded a combined 17.5 sacks, a decent number for a defensive tackle.

In fact, Lee ranked 10th among all defensive tackles in combined sacks in that three-year span.

He was a solid defensive tackle for the team that started on the defense in the franchise’s lone Super Bowl appearance. He is not someone who has gone down in Chargers history, but is someone who was an important part of the defense during a time period where the Chargers made it farther than they ever have before, or ever have since.

He and fellow defensive tackle Rueben Davis were nicknamed “Two Tons of Fun.”

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Lee unfortunately passed away in 2011 at the age of 44 due to cardiac arrest that occurred after suffering double pneumonia.