LA Chargers countdown to 2020: The best number 54 in team history

There are 54 days until the LA Chargers are back in action.

Counting today, there are 54 more days until the LA Chargers‘ scheduled Week 1 matchup against first overall pick Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. Of course, that is assuming that everything goes as planned for the 2020 NFL season and nothing gets pushed back, delayed or outright canceled.

To countdown the (hopeful) start of the 2020 season, we have been naming the best players to wear every number that coincides with the number of days remaining until the LA Chargers’ scheduled Week 1 game.

The last one was a bit of a no-brainer in Junior Seau, however, the number 54 has more competition and has really close competition at that. At the end of the day, though, the nod goes to the guy that is currently donning the number.

The best number 54 in LA Chargers history: Melvin Ingram

Melvin Ingram becomes just the second active member of the Chargers to be named the best player to wear their number. He is much better than the other person to earn the honor, though, as that person was Sam Tevi.

It was a close race between Ingram and the next-best number 54 in team history, Billy Ray Smith. In terms of career Approximate Value, the two players are just about identical. Ingram has a career AV of 57 while Smith put together 55 career AV with the Chargers.

However, that was because of Smith’s long-lasting tenure with the team. He was always a solid player, but he never reached the Pro Bowl-level of play that Ingram has displayed over the last three seasons.

Ingram did have a slow start to his career but really came into his own once the team started lining him up at defensive end. Over the last five years, Ingram has tallied 43 total sacks, which is the 14th-most in the NFL over that time.

Ingram is not done with the Bolts, either. While 2020 is the last year on his contract, he very well could have another Pro Bowl season and further cement his place as the best number 54 in team history.

It will be more than enough, even if he walks away after the season. Ingram needs one sack to hit 50 sacks with the Chargers, a number that only three people in team history have reached.

Next: Best number 55 in team history

Has Ingram been good enough to get his number retired by the team? Absolutely not. However, he is undoubtedly the best number 54 in team history and it would take quite a lot to dethrone him in the future.