Now that San Diego Chargers backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst sustained a knee injury on the first day of training camp — he says it’s not serious — reports out of southern California have the team on the hunt for another veteran free agent passer.
Talk is that the team has already reached out to several available quarterbacks, and that list could include former Charger Billy Volek as well as A.J. Feeley, Kyle Boller and J.P. Losman. The Chargers’ current third-stringer is free agent rookie Jarrett Lee.
Volek, who played for San Diego for six seasons, would be a strong candidate because of his familiarity with the system and the organization overall. But would he be the right choice?
The severity of Whitehurst’s injury is unclear, though the veteran has to be on the field to earn a roster spot. His value as a backup has already been called into question, since he didn’t exactly get it done during his short stint with the Seattle Seahawks. And while starter Phillip Rivers has been largely healthy over the course of his career, no team wants to enter a season with an extraordinarily weak backup if it can avoid doing so.
Even though Whitehurst downplayed the injury and was able to walk off the field on his own, the knee was wrapped and iced and there is little doubt the Chargers will keep a close eye on his progress while working the phones.
What if the Chargers are unsatisfied with both Whitehurst’s recovery and the waiver wire? Could a trade be in the works?
That kind of speculation is premature, but not out of the question. For now, teams have just opened their camps and the evaluation process has barely begun. However, once a few weeks go by, some team out there may decide that its third-string quarterback may have some value, just as the Chargers could be feeling pressure to make a move on a backup.