LA Chargers countdown to 2020: Best number 52 in team history
By Jason Reed
We are 52 days away from the LA Chargers being back in action.
Counting today, there are 52 more 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 along as currently planned.
To count down the return of the Bolts, we have been naming the best players in team history to wear each number that coincides with the number of days remaining until that Week 1 matchup.
Thus far, Melvin Ingram and Sam Tevi, of all people, are the only current members of the LA Chargers’ roster to earn the honor. We are almost halfway through this exercise as well, as we started with the number 99.
The number 52 is not a current member of the Chargers roster (sorry, Denzel Perryman) but instead was a member of the LA Chargers in the lone year that they were the LA Chargers before moving to San Diego.
The best number 52 in LA Chargers’ history: Don Rogers
Don Rogers is one of the original members of the LA Chargers as he began his professional football career in 1960 with the AFL’s LA Chargers before moving to San Diego in the 1961 season.
Rogers was a starting interior lineman for the Chargers from 1960 to 1964, missing only two total games in the five seasons that he donned the powder blue.
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Rogers was not exceptional and I am not going to sit here and pretend like I have watched a lot of Rogers tape, because I haven’t. What we do know is that he was a starting lineman on the AFL Champion Chargers and leads all Charger players to wear the number 52 in total Approximate Value.
Rogers accumulated 42 AV in five seasons, which indicates that he was an average offensive lineman, at the very worst. Meanwhile, the next best number 52, in terms of career AV, is Ray Preston, who spent nine years with the team.
Preston had less AV than Rogers despite playing four more seasons and that is because he was not a starter for most of his tenure. He started just two seasons for the Bolts and was actually fairly decent as well, hauling in five picks in 1979. Not bad for a linebacker.
However, it would seem a bit odd to name a player who was a bench player for seven of his nine seasons as the best player to ever wear his jersey number just because of one great and one decent season.