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LA Chargers countdown to 2020: Best number 96 in team history

(Photo credit should read DAVE KAUP/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo credit should read DAVE KAUP/AFP via Getty Images)

There are only 96 more days until we see the LA Chargers back in action.

Counting today, there are only 96 days until the LA Chargers kickoff against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 of the NFL season. In honor of this, we have been counting down the best players to wear the coinciding numbers with the days remaining.

The number 96 has been worn by a total of 12 players on the LA Chargers, with the latest player to wear the number being Sylvester Williams, who spent the 2019 season with the Bolts. Right now, on the Chargers’ team website, there is no player listed as number 96 on the roster.

There have not been many notable number 96s in team history and instead, the number had simply jumped around like a hot potato, really failing to gain any traction to become a memorable number in Chargers’ history.

The best number 96 in LA Chargers history: Norman Hand

Norman Hand did not have a long tenure in the LA Chargers. He only spent three years of his nine-year NFL career with the Chargers and he really only made an impact on the team in two of those three seasons.

Hand was drafted in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins and spent only one season with the team before joining the Bolts.

His most memorable seasons were the 1998 and 1999 season, where Hand was an above-average defensive tackle for the team. Hand started 30 of 32 games across those two seasons with 104 combined tackles and 10 sacks. He even had two interceptions in the 1998 season.

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Hand ranked ninth among defensive tackles in combined tackles and 15th in sacks across the two seasons. He is one of just 11 defensive tackles since the 1998 season to record two interceptions in one year, with the most recent being Vince Wilfork in 2011.

Hand was not an elite defensive tackle and his tenure with the team was short but he definitely did have the highest ceiling among any number 96 and despite his short tenure, has the highest combined Approximate Value of any number 96 in team history.

Next. Greatest number 97 in team history

Hand tragically passed away in 2010 from hypertensive cardiovascular disease at only 37 years old. His legend in the NFL lives on for two reasons: he is the greatest number 96 in LA Chargers history and he was part of the Saints’ first-ever playoff victory when they defeated the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card Round in the 2000-2001 NFL Playoffs.