The wide receiver that could save the Chargers (if the team lets him)

Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Chargers
Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Chargers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The LA Chargers are coming out of the bye week with the wide receiver room somehow looking worse than it did heading into the bye. Despite having a week off of action, the Chargers are going to be extremely depleted at receiver, making life even harder for Justin Herbert.

Keenan Allen told reporters on Wednesday that he aggravated his hamstring injury during the bye week. It is unclear if he is saving face for the team pushing him to play too soon, or if this is really what happened. Either way, Allen's status for Week 9 is up in the air.

Add the fact that Mike Williams is out of action and Joshua Palmer is still questionable (although he cleared concussion protocol) and the wide receiver room looks bleak for the Chargers. If Palmer does not play, Herbert will be without his WR1, WR2, WR3 and WR4 from the start of the season.

Someone is going to have to step up and make an impact and the Chargers actually have a perfect candidate that, for whatever reason, has not gotten the chance he deserves from this coaching staff. If the team just gives him a chance, he might be a saving grace for this offense.

The LA Chargers have to give Joe Reed a chance to help the offense.

Despite being selected in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Joe Reed has not gotten many chances with the Chargers. He did find the endzone in his rookie season with the team but spent all of 2021 on the practice squad after suffering an injury.

He was unable to return to the active roster in 2022 and has been on the practice squad all season. While the team has other options like John Hightower, the Bolts really should give a chance to the receiver that they just drafted two years ago.

Brandon Staley was very complimentary of Cordarelle Patterson, who is possibly making his return from the IR against the Chargers in Week 9. There are actually a lot of similarities between Reed and Patterson, and like Patterson early on in his career, Reed simply has not gotten a chance.

Reed's value to the team, even when he was drafted, was never going to be an every-down WR3 that could produce. The intrigue with Reed was always his ability with the football in his hands and his threat as a deep target. He is a perfect gadget-play option that could line up out wide, in the slot and in the backfield.

End-arounds, screens, go-routes. All things that Reed could add to this offense, in theory, with his athletic ability. All things that teams utilized with Patterson before the Falcons finally wised up and made him a full-time running back.

That even opens an interesting door for Reed in the backfield. Having him on the roster as wide receiver depth at least gives the team some kind of option if Sony Michel continues to disappoint or someone in the running back room gets banged up while Joshua Kelley is still injured.

This is an offense that is lacking explosiveness right now. The Chargers are not going to be able to run the exact same offense with all of the injuries and need the variability that Reed brings to the table.

It is better than just activating Jason Moore or John Hightower to essentially do nothing. At least with Reed, there is some sort of ceiling that can be reached.