The San Diego Chargers are happy that Melvin Ingram is back and activated for 2013. Their 2012 first round pick was showing signs of brilliance until an offseason injury to his ACL had him on the PUP list until today.
The Chargers finally get a pass rusher that they’ve desperately needed. This roster of linebackers has resembled practice dummies, allowing yardage over the middle, big gains off screens and quarterbacks ample time to throw.
Pressure lacks in John Pagano’s 28th ranked pass defense allowing 3,226 yards and only getting to the quarterback 29 times. The Chargers’ sack leader is shared between LB Thomas Keiser and DE Cory Liuget.
Having Ingram in the middle gives the Chargers speed, allowing their secondary to better cover Giants’ receivers. Derek Cox, seemingly benched again, could even see some time because of the return of a resemblance of a pass rush.
Ingram’s return sets the mood for a testy matchup against the New York Giants and former Chargers first overall pick for 30 minutes, Eli Manning.
To put in perspective the last time Eli Manning was in town for work, the Chargers had Shawne Merriman on defense, Donnie Edwards lead their matchup in tackles, and — oh yeah — Drew Brees, and LaDainian Tomlinson started that game.
That was 2005.
This 2013 matchup features two desperate teams with slim playoff chances. Both teams need to leapfrog multiple teams in front of them to reach the sixth and final spot in the playoffs.
Ingram gives the Chargers and Philip Rivers a shot at achieving that last spot.