A Healthy Returning Allen a Welcome Sight to the Chargers in 2016

Keenan Allen

While it didn’t look like it was going to be a dangerous play when it happened, last season when Chargers wide out Keenan Allen came down in Baltimore with a touchdown in the end zone, little did people know it would be the last play for him in 2015.

The play was a corner route, and Allen pulled in the scoring pass, only to suffer a lacerated kidney, a scary injury that ended his season much too early, and also hurt the Chargers passing game for the rest of the season.

“I couldn’t breathe at all,” http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/apr/17/chargers-keenan-allen-injury-health/

“Stevie (Johnson) came over, tried to grab me from the ground. ‘Hold on, Stevie. I can’t breathe.’ Except I couldn’t say that. ‘I can’t breathe.’ Gasping for air. I just kept laying there. I kept thinking how I couldn’t breathe — I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t breathe. It felt like the longest minute of my life, not being able to breathe.”

While that was bad, little did Allen know the recovery that would come along with such an injury. He missed the final two months of the year, and US casino players had to take that into consideration for the rest of the Chargers season and the blow it was to the Bolts offense.

Allen played in just eight games, but was very good in those games, pulling in 67 passes, tied for third-most in NFL history in eight games, with 725 yards and four scores.

When he went down, the Chargers offense seemed to go down with it. The club wasn’t able to duplicate their offensive output the rest of the year, but now with a returning Allen, they should be able to get back to where they were a season ago.

The Chargers with Allen had the league’s number one ranked offense for the first half of the season, putting up 423.3 yards per game. Now with Allen back, the skies the limit with his pass catching and big play abilities.

Allen also has something to play for as he has one year left on his rookie contract, and he’s eager to prove to the Bolts and the rest of the NFL that he’s for real.

It’ll be a welcome sight to see him out there doing his thing again in 2016.

Chargers Need a Lineman in Round One; Will They Follow the Formula?

Ryan Kelly

Draft day is just over a week away, and everyone these days seems to have an opinion as to who the Chargers should take with their first round pick, the third pick overall.

Hall of Fame and former Oilers, Vikings and Seahawks QB Warren Moon thinks that the Bolts should invest more in their offensive line, a position that could help 34-year-old quarterback Philip Rivers as well as a run game that seems to have been stuck in the mud the past few seasons.

“Philip’s a guy that needs a little more time than the average quarterback, because he’s not going to escape and do things with his legs,” said Moon to the San Diego Union Tribune. “He’s going to stay in the pocket as long as anybody. He’s going to be as tough in the pocket as anybody. But he does need consistency up front so he can do what he does best.

“He can still throw it around as well as anybody. But he does need a great offensive line in front of him. And I think as he gets older, that running game has got to improve and take pressure off him so he doesn’t have to be the only thing that happens.

It’s not like the Chargers haven’t tried to bring in an offensive linemen over the last few years, as in two of the last three seasons the team has invested in the line.

They drafted Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker with the 11th pick in 2013, and in 2014, the team brought in Notre Dame left guard Chris Watt with their third-round pick.

Watt has had issues with his leg and groin, and now will attempt to play the center spot after starting his career at the right guard spot.

With the Eagles moving up in the draft on Wednesday to get the second overall pick from the Browns, you can bet here using Bitcoins the Chargers are going to have a chance to take the best lineman on the board if they so choose.

One player that the Bolts could easily target is center Ryan Kelly from Alabama. He’s a sturdy 6-4, 311 pounds, and everyone feels he’s a first round pick.

If that’s the direction the Chargers go, they will have at least one person that will love it – that being Moon.

Concussions and Sports: What We Now Know

Chargers helmet

Concussion is a 2015 biographical sports medical drama based on the journey of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian forensic pathologist who started a nationwide discussion about concussions, and their long term effects on football players. Dr. Omalu, played by Will Smith, was performing a routine autopsy on deceased Hall of Fame Steelers center, Mike Webster, when he discovered that Webster’s brain included tangles of tau protein consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Dr. Omalu continued his research and soon discovered that the degenerative brain disease, CTE, was present in professional football players living and dead. What followed was stonewall tactics from the NFL, as the league sought to suppress the doctor’s research. The good doctor stayed vigilant in his fight to make the world aware of the long term and dangerous effects of concussions, and the result has been nationwide media coverage, a blockbuster film, and a chain of events that eventually led to a class action lawsuit.

The NFL concussion lawsuit settlement is currently open to every single retired or deceased NFL player. The agreement lasts for the next 65 years in order to compensate men who’ve been injured, but aren’t currently facing symptoms. There has never been such a spotlight on concussion and its many hidden dangers, and it’s all due to Dr. Omalu’s discovery.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a disruption of the brain that occurs after a hard blow has been received to the head or body. The unfortunate consequence of concussion is that its initial symptoms may be mild, but it’s possible that it can cause “significant and lifelong impairments,” says concussion expert Dr. A. Chainey Umphrey. Umphrey admits that he’s seen concussions ruin the lives of young sports players.

In professional football, many blows are sustained including hard blows to the head. Dr. Omalu believes that more than 90 percent of professional football players suffer from CTE; although, he has not tested every single player. Of the players he has examined, every single one tested positive for CTE. To make a diagnosis the pathologist uses biochemical and radiological markers.

Using What’s Been Learned

Dr. Omalu’s research resulted in a 2013 call for greater attention to concussions from the Institute of Medicine across the age spectrum. Their biggest concern is the effects of concussions on children, but all ages are being researched to learn more about the dangers of sustained concussions. The sports with the highest risk of concussion are football, hockey, wrestling, boxing, lacrosse, soccer, and basketball.

Epidemiologists from the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention analyzed information collected for a period of one year, and were able to determine the following:

  • 1 in 20 college football players sustained at least one concussion per season
  • 1 in 14 high school football players sustained at least one concussion per season
  • And, 1 in 30 youth players sustained at least one concussion per season

Because concussions have been determined to be so dangerous, and yet so little is known about them, the National Institutes of Health, the Pentagon, and sports leagues are spending millions of dollars on upcoming research. Their goals are to better understand if certain people are more prone to concussions, how to detect concussions, whether there are drugs that can be administered to limit brain damage, and they’re developing high-power imaging techniques to show how much nerve damage is sustained post-concussion.

Although treatments for concussions have changed little in recent years (you no longer have to wake up a concussed patient every few hours to check on them), it can be expected they’ll change greatly as more information is learned. And, Dr. Omalu’s research has inspired many to engineer new ways to keep players safe on the field, including engineering impact-mitigating helmets and tethering systems. If safer equipment and new rules can be derived, society can mitigate this disaster and continue enjoying America’s game without the fear of lasting brain damage for players.

Chargers Agree to Terms with Free Agent CB Casey Hayward

Casey Hayward

The Chargers have agreed to terms with former Packers cornerback Casey Hayward on a three-year, $15.3 million contract according to Rand Getlin of NFL Network.

Hayward was widely considered the best cornerback left on the free agent market and should have a good shot at starting corner duties for the Chargers after working primarily as a slot corner in Green Bay the past four seasons.

Originally a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2012, Hayward graded out as Pro Football Focus’s No.21 corner among 118 qualified players in 2015. He logged a career-best 65 tackles with seven pass breakups, albeit no interceptions.

Hayward’s most likely position for the Chargers in 2016 will be playing the left side opposite Jason Verrett in the Chargers’ main defense and moving over to cover the slot in “sub” packages.

Chargers Looking to Have Stadium Built in Downtown to Stay in San Diego

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The Chargers today released a statement stating that they are in the process of looking to have a multi-use stadium built in downtown San Diego that will keep the team in town instead of moving.

Here’s the statement from the team:

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

We have spent the last month evaluating the leading San Diego stadium sites and financing proposals. During that time, led by Chargers Special Advisor Fred Maas, we have engaged in regular discussions with Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Roberts, City Attorney Goldsmith, and City and County negotiators. And we have carefully evaluated the arguments made by the Mayor and others regarding the merits of the Mission Valley site. We agree that, in many respects, the arguments for Mission Valley are compelling.

At the same time, we have considered the potential benefits to both the greater San Diego region and the Chargers of a multi-use stadium/convention center facility downtown. The multi-use facility, when combined with Petco Park, the existing Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter, and a revitalized East Village, would create an unparalleled entertainment and sports district that will host Super Bowls and will ideally be a permanent home for Comic-Con and a Comic-Con museum. All of our research demonstrates that voters are more likely to approve a multi-use facility that would generate economic activity on hundreds of days per year, including by attracting major sporting and convention events that San Diego cannot now host. The downtown multi-use facility would also free up the existing Mission Valley site for potential use by educational institutions such as San Diego State and UCSD, as well as for a large riverfront park.

For these reasons, the Chargers will begin collaborating immediately with the existing diverse citizens’ coalition led by Donna Frye and JMI Realty that has already been formed in favor of a downtown convention center expansion and educational and recreational uses in Mission Valley. Our goal is to win voter approval in November 2016 for a downtown multi-use stadium/convention center facility and to facilitate the best possible community uses for the existing Mission Valley site. We will deliver regular reports to our fans and to the community about the progress we are making.

We believe that a downtown multi-use facility will attract broad support from throughout our entire community. And we hope that, as our downtown proposal is developed and as the campaign for passage begins, those who have supported the Mission Valley site will keep an open mind and consider supporting what we believe is the best way to secure a permanent home for the Chargers in San Diego.

We are very grateful for all of the hard work that Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Roberts and City Attorney Goldsmith have done on behalf of the City and County over the past few weeks and look forward to maintaining a dialogue as our plans move forward.

Chargers to Meet with Antonio Gates’ Agent Next Week About New Deal

Antonio Gates

The Chargers plan to meet with Antonio Gates‘ agent, Tom Condon, in Indianapolis next week at the NFL Scouting Combine to discuss a new deal, Michael Gehlken of UT San Diego reports.

Gates is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent March 9th.

This is where Gates wants to be. He was reminded of that following last year’s 4-12 season. However disappointed, he basked to some degree in the locker room following the finale, having seen the undermanned Chargers lead the eventual Super Bowl champion Broncos in the fourth quarter before losing in Denver. The effort helped validate that his first professional marriage should remain his only.

“I’d love to finish my career here,” said Gates, who will turn 36 in June. “I know one thing: we’re going to fight despite whatever we’re going through. We’ll see how it goes.”

Report: Chargers Have No Interest in Rams Stadium Plan in L.A.

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Chargers say they have “zero interest” in switching alliances at the 11th hour of the Los Angeles stadium derby and remain committed to join the Oakland Raiders with a new stadium in Carson, California, Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today reports.

NFL owners are scheduled to meet here Tuesday and Wednesday to decide which teams move into which competing stadium project in L.A. County, if any. The apparent choices on the table are the Carson project, jointly backed by the Chargers and Raiders, or a stadium plan near the L.A. airport in Inglewood, backed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is among those who have pushed the idea of having the Chargers and Rams together in Inglewood. But the Chargers still say they don’t want that.

Chargers Place WR Keenan Allen on Season Ending IR

San Diego Chargers v Baltimore Ravens

The Chargers have placed wide receiver Keenan Allen on season-ending injury reserve according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Allen was forced from the game against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday with what was then described as muscle spasms in his back but later diagnosed by doctors as a lacerated kidney. Gehlken reports that Allen underwent a non-surgical procedure Monday to “Stop bleeding”. Allen is expected to make a full recovery but not in time to play again this season-and the Chargers are wisely taking no chances with Allen’s long-term health in a 2-6 season that is rapidly going nowhere.

One of the most talented wideouts in the NFL, the former Cal product was on pace for a 134/1,450/8 season in an offense leading the league in passing a 337 yards per game. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers still has plenty of weapons at his disposal including veterans Malcom Floyd and Stevie Johnson, TEs Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green, and developing threat Dontrelle Inman.

The 23-year-old Allen will enter the final year of his rookie contract in 2016.