Injuries can do a lot of different things to a football team. For the San Diego Chargers over the remaining two weeks of the season, injuries could make some very big decisions for the franchise in terms of personnel looking forward to the 2013 campaign.
Following the team’s ninth loss of the season, a 31-7 drubbing at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, the Bolts announced that three more players would be joining the already lengthy list of names on injured reserve (IR). Backup offensive lineman Reggie Wells is one of those players, but the two bigger names are running back Ryan Mathews who broke his clavicle in the game and wide receiver Malcom Floyd who injured his ankle.
The key injury on this list is Floyd who has set a new career-high in receptions with 56 in 2012. His additional looks came due to Vincent Jackson’s departure in free agency and the inability of either Eddie Royal or Robert Meachem to be relevant targets.
While losing Floyd is in now way a positive, it will allow Meachem to attempt to get back in the good graces of quarterback Philip Rivers and the Bolts’ offense as a whole. Since week 7, the wideout has just two catches for 18 yards. For a player guaranteed $6.875 million in 2013, that production must ramp up in a hurry.
The Chargers had asked Meachem to be a legit number one option in the passing game early in the year, but it became clear quickly that he just isn’t that type of player. Perhaps getting him into some sets as the slot target with Danario Alexander assuming the number one role will help his confidence a bit and channel some of his old success from his days with the New Orleans Saints.
For San Diego, while cutting bait with Meachem is always an option, the team would be seriously handicapped in terms of the salary cap next season if they were to go that route. The most sensible approach would be to hire a new staff, get him incorporated into the offense immediately, and make sure that he fits into whatever role he is given.
The Bolts need to stop making things more difficult on themselves than necessary by forcing round pegs into square holes all of the time. Here’s to hoping that the new regime in power understands that concept and embraces it.
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