In order to make room for linebacker and special teams ace Reggie Walker, the San Diego Chargers released wide receiver-kick returner Richard Goodman.
Goodman’s release doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as he failed to make much of an impact in preseason. Goodman had actually been an underrated kick returner over the past two seasons, averaging an impressive 27.6 yards per return, which ranked fourth in the NFL in that time span. However, he didn’t help in the field position game nearly as much in preseason, averaging 22.2 yards per return with a long of 28 yards. He also caught just one pass on offense.
With the wide receiving core as banged up as it is, Goodman could’ve possibly kept his place on the roster if he showed that he could contribute as a receiver. However, Goodman, who has one career catch, never showed the ability on offense and also drops too many passes.
Now with Goodman gone, one has to wonder who will return kicks for the team. Eddie Royal is currently listed as the backup kick returner, but hasn’t been a full time kick returner since 2009 and is still recovering from a bruised lung and concussion. Plus, the team may want to preserve him for slot receiver and punt return duties, especially considering how fragile he’s been over the past few years.
Fozzy Whittaker, who returned some kicks in preseason and in college, is the more likely candidate to take over Goodman’s duties. Whittaker has been impressive in preseason, but is listed as the fourth running back, so it’ll be difficult for him to get on the field on offense early on. He’ll be able to earn more playing time on offense if he can impress as a return man.
Now, with just five receivers on the roster, two of whom are nursing injuries, look for General Manager Tom Telesco to monitor the waiver wire for a veteran.