Tom Telesco and the LA Chargers have been relatively quiet in free agency, according to some fans. The team has re-signed some of its own while bringing in some hopeful upgrades at other positions.
But one spot that needs to be addressed is the running back. Okay, so maybe it’s not high on the team’s priority list but getting a proven NFL back to pair with Austin Ekeler would be helpful. It’d be a good idea for the Chargers to turn the tables on the Denver Broncos.
Melvin Gordon was a free agent last offseason after his holdout the season prior. The Chargers were fine with letting Gordon walk. They had Ekeler and he was coming off the best season of his career. In that year he proved he could be a starting NFL back and handle that workload.
Gordon then signed with division rival Denver Broncos. This move crowded their backfield as they already had Phillip Lindsay, coming off back to back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. This duo gave the Broncos a good rushing attack.
Now, the Broncos have “mutually agreed to part ways” with Phillip Lindsay. Lindsay is an undrafted running back out of Colorado that nobody, except Lindsay, thought would be the Broncos starting running back, especially when the Broncos spent a third-round pick on Freeman.
But after Lindsay and Gordon pairing didn’t work out the way the Broncos expected they’ve decided to change course.
The LA Chargers could turn the tables on the Denver Broncos with Phillip Lindsay.
Great news for the Bolts. Lindsay can be the “power back” for Ekeler. Both Ekeler and Lindsay are capable pass catchers. Ekeler is of course the better of the two, so he’d still be the Chargers third-down back.
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Lindsay can be the Bolts short-yardage and goal-line back. These two backs are diametrically opposed when it comes to scoring touchdowns. Of Lindsay’s 17 total touchdowns, 16 come on the ground. 16 of Ekeler’s 25 total have come via the pass.
Looking a little closer at Lindsay and you’ll see he has a career average of 4.8 yards per rush. Also, Lindsay averages 25.6 receptions per season. That’s just about half of Ekeler’s 53 average receptions. The most important and incredible aspect of Lindsay’s game is he has zero fumbles in his career. Ball security for an NFL back is a vital aspect of their success. For comparison, Ekeler has a total of five fumbles for his career.
Another positive to signing Lindsay is that Brandon Staley can play both backs at the same time. Ekeler can lineup next to Justin Herbert or in the slot. There is also no tipping of the play call by having Lindsay on the field either.
Sure, when Lindsay’s on the field he’s more likely to be running the ball than he is catching it. But if Herbert sees that the defense is playing to stop the run, he can audible to either a play-action play or a pass play with Lindsay coming out of the backfield.
Last year when Gordon hit free agency probably nobody thought he’d sign with the Broncos. This year it’s time for the LA Chargers to turn the tables on the Broncos and sign Lindsay. I’m sure the two times the Chargers meet up with the Broncos that Lindsay will have a little something extra, showing the Broncos what they’re missing and that they made a mistake.
Lindsay to the Bolts would be a great fit and fill the need for a backup running back.