(Photo from Chargers.com)
With Keenan Allen placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL, it is expected that the San Diego Chargers will remain status quo by targeting Travis Benjamin more and relying on their depth that features low pedigree second and third-year players.
But with the odds likely favoring Dontrelle Inman to be the second-string receiver, it is highly possible that the Chargers will not look for any other outside help. Except, with injuries to players like Allen and Malcom Floyd in the past and the age growing on tight end Antonio Gates, it might be time bring outside help for the season to be salvaged.
In training camp arrived a nine-year veteran by the name of James Jones. Despite leading the Green Bay Packers in receiving yards and touchdowns in 2015, most teams shunned his services throughout the off-season until the Chargers signed him in late July.
Jones looked worthy of making the team by catching 63.6 percent of his passes, giving him a stat line of seven catches for 69 yards. But more than likely, the Chargers chose youth over experience and production as they, like the other thirty-one teams, felt that he is no burner at 32 years of age.
What is worse is that they cut him before the final seventy-five players were decided on, and, frankly, this year should be an exception to the rule. Teams throughout the NFL made a mockery of the preseason by altering the traditional game orders for starters and reserves. Typically, the starters play one series in the first preseason game, two to four in the second, play at least three quarters in the third, and play one or no series in the fourth.
This year, all of the game orders were dramatically altered as most teams benched their starters for the first game, played the starters for one or no series in the second and a half in the third. Plus, with the fourth preseason game being three to four days after the third and not featuring veterans, it made no sense to keep a player that may have been cut after the final seventy-five were determined.
But with the rest of the depth after Inman featuring undrafted second-year players, Tyrell Williams and Isaiah Burse, it might be better that the Chargers get production and experience. Sure, Jones cannot run 4.5 forty yard dashes, but his familiarity with the offense and the pedigree disparity between the second-year players and Inman should prompt the Chargers to at least consider Jones.
Most importantly, they must realize that quarterback Philip Rivers is better with veterans as players like Vincent Jackson, Darren Sproles, Chris Chambers, Patrick Crayton, Danny Woodhead, and Eddie Royal have found success elsewhere, before and after San Diego. A quarterback can only carry a team for so long, and with the team in shambles under general manager Tom Telesco and owner Dean Spanos, Rivers should get what is the best available.
If it so happens that the best is better than their incumbents, especially as Telesco's past drafts can show that they are, the best should be signed. Besides, they have already ticked off future players from either re-signing or signing in San Diego. Bringing back Jones could possibly turn around that reputation, and, most importantly, give San Diegans a team they would not mind see staying.