The San Diego Chargers‘ OTAs started today, and two players stood out on the practice field and should make Chargers fans happy.
Malcom Floyd was a participant in OTAs after sustaining a terrible neck injury last season, which held the rest of his NFL career in question. On the other side of the ball, Manti Te’o came into camp in great shape. These are two good signs for the Chargers.
Floyd said he’s “cleared for everything” and “there are no risks.” This is a good sign for Philip Rivers and the rest of the Chargers’ offense. Beyond Keenan Allen, the Chargers lack significant playmaking at the receiver position. Eddie Royal (47 receptions, 631 yards and eight touchdowns last year) played well, but he was inconsistent. Vincent Brown was a disappointment with only 41 receptions, 472 yards and one touchdown (in Week 1) last year.
The Chargers didn’t address the receiver position in the offseason in any way that provides immediate impact. Floyd is the most veteran receiver on the roster and if he truly is back to 100 percent, this bodes well for the Chargers’ passing attack. San Diego ranked fourth in the NFL in passing last season, even with Floyd missing most of the year and a lack of depth at receiver behind Allen.
With that being said, this is somewhat of a double-edged sword for Floyd and the Bolts. While Floyd’s play on the gridiron is much-needed, it comes with significant risk to his future health. The neck injury he sustained last year against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2 looked to be almost life-threatening, and it definitely put the rest of his football career in jeopardy.
If Floyd can regain the form he was in from 2010-2012 (even though he missed 11 games) where he averaged almost 18 yards per reception and five touchdowns, the Chargers’ offense could be even more lethal this year.
On the defensive side of the ball, Te’o said he’s in the “best shape” of his life. Last year, Te’o missed most of training camp and the preseason. This had a lot to do with his struggles on the field in his rookie year for the Chargers.
Te’o looked slow and out of position a lot last year, so with a full offseason to work with and knowing he came into camp in such great shape, his play on the field should be much improved. He will have to improve his play if the Chargers want to defend the run better this year. Last season, San Diego ranked 27th in the NFL, giving up 4.6 yards per carry.
Only time will tell how Floyd will bounce back from his injury and how Te’o will play this season, but just seeing Floyd back on the field and Te’o in great shape are great news for the Chargers.