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LA Chargers countdown to 2020: Best number 63 in team history

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 6: Guard Doug Wilkerson #63 of the San Diego Chargers takes on defensive tackle Jerry Patton #77 of the Philadelphia Eagles at San Diego Stadium on October 6, 1974 in San Diego, California. The Eagles defeated the Chargers 13-7. (Photo by James Flores/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 6: Guard Doug Wilkerson #63 of the San Diego Chargers takes on defensive tackle Jerry Patton #77 of the Philadelphia Eagles at San Diego Stadium on October 6, 1974 in San Diego, California. The Eagles defeated the Chargers 13-7. (Photo by James Flores/Getty Images)
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We are 63 days away until the LA Chargers are scheduled to be back in action.

Counting today, there are officially 63 days until the LA Chargers‘ scheduled Week 1 matchup against first overall pick Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. That is, as long as the 2020 NFL season goes as planned, which certainly is not a guarantee.

To count down the potential 2020 season, we have been naming the best players in Chargers’ history to wear each number that coincides with the number of days remaining until that Week 1 matchup.

Ironically, the only current Charger that has been named is not even a great one. Sam Tevi is the greatest number 69 in team history and he probably won’t even be starting for the team in 2020 unless Bryan Bulaga or Trey Pipkins get hurt.

Tevi will remain as the only current Charger thus far to earn the honor as the current number 63, as listed on the LA Chargers roster, is Nate Gilliam, an undrafted free agent that was signed this offseason.

The number 63, in fact, was worn by one of the greatest players in franchise history.

The best number 63 in LA Chargers’ history: Doug Wilkerson

The number 63 is a good one for the LA Chargers as it has yielded one of the greatest offensive linemen in team history in Doug Wilkerson. Wilkerson spent a lengthy 14 seasons with the Chargers, was well above-average during his time and was consistent as could be.

Wilkerson was a three-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro during his time with the Chargers, all of which came later in his career from 1980 to 1982.

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Wilkerson’s 1982 season was particularly impressive. It was his All-Pro season and in that season he posted an Approximate Value of 21. To compare, the second-best number 63 in team history, in terms of career AV with the Chargers, had 15.

Wilkerson started every single game for the Chargers in an eight-year stretch from 1971 to 1978. Overall, Wilkerson started 195 games at left guard for the Chargers.

Wilkerson is not only the best number 63 in team history and one of the best offensive linemen in team history, but he is one of the greatest players to ever wear the powder blue. He ranks sixth all-time in franchise history in both AV and games played.

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Wilkerson is a member of the Chargers Hall of Fame and it will be extremely hard for any player in franchise history to match what he did wearing the number 63.

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