5. Having good linebacker depth
The injury report was not friendly for the Chargers’ linebackers this week. Asmar Bilal is out with a calf injury while Nick Vigil is doubtful with a groin. Neither played significant snaps vs. Kansas City, but they were good depth to have. Depth at linebacker is as important as it could possibly be following Drue Tranquill‘s potentially season-ending tibia fracture.
Both of them will have to at least be serviceable against the Panthers. Kyzir White, Kenneth Murray, and Denzel Perryman will pick up most of the workload, but they can’t do it all by themselves. Plus, it’s not a great idea to overwork them and potentially cause another injury.
The linebackers won’t have to be used in pass coverage as much as last week, but that makes them more important in stopping the run game. White, Murray, and Perryman were great at shutting down Clyde Edwards-Helaire last week.
Mike Davis isn’t a dynamic runner, but he’s capable of controlling the tempo with his running ability. The linebackers will also have to snuff out potential run plays from the receivers, like Curtis Samuel.