Chargers wide receiver depth chart if Keenan Allen and Mike Williams can't play

New England Patriots v Los Angeles Chargers
New England Patriots v Los Angeles Chargers / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

There is a decent chance that the LA Chargers wide receiver depth chart takes a big hit in Week 14 against the New York Giants. Star wideout Keenan Allen was placed on the reserve/covid-19 list on Monday with a positive test, although he is vaccinated so he could still return in Week 14. Fellow wide receiver Mike Williams was also put on the list as an unvaccinated close contact.

For Allen to return in Week 14 he would have to test negative twice 24 hours apart while being asymptomatic for 48 hours. Thus far, we have no updates on if he is testing negative, but since he tested positive, it is probably safe to assume that he will at least miss Week 14 and return on Thursday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Williams has a better chance of playing if he never tests positive. If Williams continues to provide negative tests then he can return to the team in time for Sunday. However, if Williams tests positive just once then he has to miss a minimum of 10 days, meaning that he would also miss the Week 15 showdown against the Chiefs.

The Chargers are likely preparing to be without at least one receiver in this game and there is a decent chance that they are without two. The problem is that Allen and Williams dominate so many of the passing targets because the rest of the WR room is thin.

Here is what the LA Chargers wide receiver depth chart would look like in Week 14 without Mike Williams and Keenan Allen:

WR1: Jalen Guyton

Jalen Guyton is the WR3 when everyone is healthy. Guyton's skillset as a speedster is probably better suited for the slot but the Chargers would not have many options and would play Guyton on the outside. Playing on the outside is not foreign to Guyton, as he only plays 27.9% of his snaps in the slot, according to PFF.

Guyton does not have the route-running nor the hands that either Allen or Williams has. While he is a good option to take the top off of defenses, that is not really what this offense is suited to do as the WR1. He would be listed as the WR1, but the receiver that would have the biggest day is most likely...

WR2: Joshua Palmer

If both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams cannot play in this game then expect Joshua Palmer to have a big game. Palmer is showing all the signs of being a good receiver in this league. He is an above-average route-runner for his age and definitely has some jump-ball ability.

Palmer balled out in the preseason when he was the de facto WR1 with the backup quarterbacks throwing to him. Palmer can definitely make things happen against a shoddy Giants defense and could wind up having a massive game in place of Allen and Williams.

WR3: K.J. Hill

This is where it gets bleak. The LA Chargers only have five wide receivers on the roster and one of them, Andre Roberts, is only used in a special teams capacity. While common sense might say to put Roberts as the WR3, there is a reason why he does not play much on offense and the team would likely be forced to elevate K.J. Hill.

This would be a big chance for Hill to show something to the Bolts. This new coaching staff obviously is not as big of a fan of him as the previous coaching staff. Hill seemed to have the makings of being a solid slot receiver in the NFL and he would get his shot in this game against the Giants.

WR4: Andre Roberts

Fourth would be Andre Roberts. He is going to have to play some offensive snaps in this game and the team should still rank him ahead of the other practice squad options to elevate in Week 14.

WR5: Michael Bandy

The LA Chargers would have to elevate another receiver in order to give the team five players at the position. Running four receivers on an active roster is playing with fire and even five is a bit light but it has been what the team has been doing all season.

Out of any of the practice squad options, Bandy makes the most sense. He got the most targets of any of the practice squad receivers in the preseason so he has to be the odds-on favorite for the coaching staff to elevate.

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The Bolts could also go out and make a depth signing in free agency, signing someone who was just waived and has ties to the coaching staff. If they do not do that then they will be choosing between Bandy, Jason Moore and Maurice Ffrench.