Injuries can cause NFL teams to do some desperate things. The San Diego Chargers are arguably the most beaten up team in the league without even playing a single regular season contest to date, and they too may resort to some seemingly desperate measures to ignite a depleted offensive skill group.
The Bolts lined their free agent offseason addition running back Danny Woodhead up in the slot a few times during the preseason. Although signs point to rookie Keenan Allen holding down that role in the offense for the most part this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Woodhead get some action in that role as well.
It’s been a while since fans in San Diego have seen this kind of dynamic presence at running back, but the team used to have two of the best and motioning out of the backfield to catch passes. Both LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles were fantastic options on wheel routes and designed motion plays where they would come out of the backfield and often times achieve mismatches in coverage. Sproles is the best comparison to Woodhead due to his diminutive size, but LT was quite an adept receiver in his own right catching 100 passes in 2003.
Is Woodhead going to catch 100 balls this year? That’s very unlikely, but there’s no doubt head coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will uncover some innovative ways to use him. This team needs to use every option at its disposal given their lack of depth due to failed free agents (Robert Meachem) and injuries (Danario Alexander).
Currently the Chargers still have Woodhead listed as their third running back on the depth chart behind both Ryan Mathews and veteran Ronnie Brown. Don’t expect to see an out-and-out position change for the versatile back any time soon, but don’t be surprise if he lines up in a variety of places other than the backfield in a stadium near you this season. The Bolts would be wise to use him as many different ways as possible to try and kick-start an offense that struggled mightily a year ago.