AFC Defensive Player of the Month is salt in the wound for Chargers fans

Los Angeles Rams v Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Rams v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Chargers have spent much of the last few offseasons remaking the roster, as Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley look to put their indelible stamp on it. As a result, veterans like Melvin Ingram were jettisoned in order to make way for players that fit Staley's scheme better.

As part of the Chargers' desire to revamp the roster and lean into their dynamic young pass rush duo, Melvin Ingram was let go prior to Staley's debut season. The move allowed the Chargers to pay Joey Bosa and gather up the resources to acquire Khalil Mack from the retooling Bears.

Initially, the moves looked genius, as Ingram was failing to catch on with playoff teams in the AFC during the 2021 season. Just one year removed from that cut, however, Ingram is performing like the Pro Bowl pass rusher he was during his athletic prime.

Ingram was named Defensive Player of the Month after helping Miami win their first three games, taking down the Ravens and Bills in the process. Continuing with the tradition of former Chargers thriving elsewhere, Ingram has found a home on a contending Dolphins team despite the fact he is 33 years old.

Former Chargers DE Melvin Ingram is balling in Miami.

Ingram's selection is a bit curious, as both of his sacks came against the Bills in a game where Buffalo had over 90 offensive snaps. He recorded just three tackles and no sacks in the other two games, but Ingram's Dolphins' previously unblemished record may have played into it.

Ingram spent nine seasons as a Charger in both San Diego and Los Angeles, recording 49 sacks and making the Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons. After joining the Steelers in 2021, Ingram was traded to the hated Chiefs in the middle of the season. He amassed one sack with each of those teams before joining Miami.

Ingram does have a forced fumble and a defensive touchdown to his name, and he was a lynchpin of a defense that slowed Lamar Jackson down in the fourth quarter and kept Josh Allen's Bills off the scoreboard late in their game. Meanwhile, the Chargers were blown out at home by Jacksonville.

Even though it looked like the right time to move on from Ingram and enter the Staley era with his guys, it has to stink seeing Ingram competing for a playoff spot and getting to the quarterback while this new-look unites struggled to consistently keep foes out of the end zone.

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