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Chargers RB Melvin Gordon Proving His Worth Not Only as a Runner But Also as a Pass Catcher

If the first two weeks are going to serve as a harbinger for the rest of the season, defensive coordinators are going to have another concern when figuring out how to defend Melvin Gordon.

The Chargers running back leads the team in receptions with 15 after the first two games. Gordon had six receptions for 38 yards in Sunday’s 31-20 win at Buffalo with two of his three touchdowns coming on catches

It is the second time in the past two seasons that Gordon has had a two-game stretch of 15 receptions, but it appears as if he is being counted on more as a receiving option.

Quarterback Philip Rivers said after Sunday’s game that Gordon’s development has been a gradual build and that he has embraced the passing game more.

When Gordon was drafted by the Chargers in 2015, Danny Woodhead was the prime receiving option out of the backfield. When Woodhead got injured in 2016, Gordon had to learn on the fly.

“I think now he’s at a point where he sees the running back as a three-down position and also who cares how you get the touches,” said Rivers, who threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns. “It’s not a 25-carry, 150-yard league anymore. It’s a 16 carries, seven receptions. How many touches does he get for 150? I mean you see it around the league the best backs that’s what they do, I think he also has embraced that.”

Gordon’s two touchdown catches came on different routes. On the first one with 10:43 remaining in the second quarter, he sold the play action and then beat Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds on an out route for a 9-yard score. The second one was wheel route on third-and-goal from the Bills’ 2 where he got separation from linebacker Matt Milano.

“He had his play action, he made sure he checked his protection. He got out and separated in a hurry,” said Rivers of the first touchdown. “I was really getting ready to throw that to Tyrell (Williams). Then I was like, Oh, there’s Melvin, mid-delivery. That was nice by him.”

Coach Anthony Lynn said Monday that when he was hired by the Chargers last year he saw that Gordon had excellent hands and was developing as a route runner.

“Just with studying the 2016 tape when I first came, I thought, ‘This guy catches the ball a lot better than I thought.’ Then he backed it up,” Lynn said. “Sometimes, the best matchup might be Melvin on a linebacker as opposed to (wide receiver) Keenan (Allen) on a cornerback.”

Gordon sustained an upper body injury that kept him out for most of the fourth quarter, but Lynn said he should be ready to go for Sunday’s game against the Rams.

Running backs have accounted for three of Rivers’ six touchdown passes this season. Austin Ekeler had a TD catch in the Week 1 loss to the Chiefs. Ekeler was the Chargers’ leading rusher at Buffalo with 77 yards on 11 carries while Gordon had nine carries for 28 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown during the first quarter.

The Chargers offense will face a big test this week, going up against an unbeaten Rams defense that hasn’t allowed a point in six quarters and only one touchdown this season. There will also be more hype to the game locally since it matches two Los Angeles NFL teams for the first time since 1994, when the Rams faced the Raiders.

With the 1-1 Chargers having a “home” game in London next month, the short road trip is welcomed by players and the coaching staff.

“It’s kind of a home game, but it’s going to be on their turf. We’re going to stay downtown and treat it like it’s an away game and go through our normal ‘away’ routine,” Lynn said.

Chargers Safety Jaylen Watkins Tears ACL, Out for the Season

The Chargers got some awful news regarding the injury to veteran safety Jaylen Watkins, that being is that he suffered a torn ACL and is going to miss the entire 2018 season.

The injury took place in the last preseason game against the Seahawks. Watkins got the start over Desmond King, Derwin James, and Rayshawn Jenkins.

Chargers DE Joey Bosa Suffers Left Foot Injury in Practice

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa suffered a left foot injury during the 11-on-11 team drills in practice on Tuesday, Eric Williams of ESPN reports.

Afterward, Bosa hobbled off the field on his own and spent the rest of practice receiving treatment from the team’s training staff.

The No. 3 overall selection of the 2016 draft, Bosa led the Chargers in sacks last season with 12.5, and he is one-half of the Chargers’ talented pass-rush tandem that includes Melvin Ingram, who finished with 10.5 sacks last year.

Bosa played a full, 16-game season for the first time in his NFL career in 2017, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl. The Ohio State product missed the first four games of his rookie season with a hamstring issue after sitting out of training camp because of a contract dispute

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Chargers WR Mike Williams Ranked 30th in Terms of Best 2nd WR Options in the NFL

While the Chargers offense is a work in progress as the 2018 season gets closer, one player who is getting no love is that of wide receiver Mike Williams.
Website NumberFire.com says that Williams ranked 30th when it comes to ranking teams’ second wide outs in the NFL.

Here’s what they had to say about Ross.

Mike Williams has capped upside for many of the same reasons John Ross does. His poor rookie year (mostly due to injury) is still a strong predictor of his future outcomes. While the Los Angeles Chargers’ offense should be stout in 2018, Tyrell Williams is a great late-round pick and is actually my favorite play among the wideouts behind Keenan Allen in this attack. Both Ross and Mike Williams each had questionable college production profiles entering the draft. It will be interesting to see how much leash their draft equity continues to provide for them.

Chargers Superfan ‘Boltman’ Announces Retirement; Selling Suit and ‘Intellectual Property’

If you’ve always wanted to be the superfan of a team – and more so the superfan of the Chargers, well the opportunity is wide open for doing so!

The Chargers ‘superfan’ known as ‘Boltman’ is stepping down, and in true American fashion, he’s decided to sell the costume as well as “full intellectual property rights to the Boltman character” to some lucky fan who has too much free time.

Dan Jauregui, who dressed up as the character, sent out an email to media members last week announcing his retirement.

San Diego Union-Tribune – In a statement emailed to media members Thursday, Dan Jauregui announced he was retiring as Boltman, the unofficial mascot of the Chargers, and plans to auction off the character.

Jauregui said he has listed the costume and “full intellectual property rights to the Boltman character” on eBay. There is a reserve price of $5,000, plus $600 for shipping. Half the proceeds will benefit Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

“It has been a great ride and experience for me as I played the role of the mascot character Boltman for over 22 years,” said Jauregui, a Ramonaresident, in his statement. “But the time has now come for me to pass the baton to a true Chargers fan in Los Angeles or San Diego or perhaps even to the Los Angeles Chargers. …

“Dean Spanos and the Chargers have a unique opportunity to extend an olive branch to San Diego fans by bringing Boltman back to the field where he belongs,” Jauregui said. “Boltman belongs alongside the historic Chargers’ Canon (sic) and the Charger Girls as the team gets back to its quest for a Super Bowl title.”

Chargers TE Hunter Henry Suffers Season Ending Injury During OTA’s

The news today is not good for Chargers tight end Hunter Henry, as ESPN reports that the he suffered a torn ACL during OTAs, ending his season before it started.

Henry suffered the season-ending injury during a drill, going down untouched while running downfield, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He will have a second opinion Wednesday, the source said.

It’s a significant loss for the Chargers, who was set to assume the main pass-catching role with Antonio Gates not on their roster for the first time since 2003.

Henry had 45 catches for 579 yards and four TDs in 2017, his second season out of Arkansas. He averaged 12.9 yards per reception last season, the third-most among tight ends behind only Rob Gronkowski (15.7) and Vernon Davis (15.1).

Gates, meanwhile, remains unsigned.

Chargers Coach Anthony Lynn Goes Back and Graduates College, Just as He Promised His Mom He Would

All the way back in 1992, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn left Texas Tech University six hours short of a degree in exercise sports science. Lynn soon embarked on a professional football career, which eventually ended in 1999. Since then, Lynn has been coaching in some capacity every single season.

But as a young man, he promised his mother he would graduate. This weekend, he did just that, Jared Dubin of CBS Sports reports.

More than 25 years after he was originally scheduled to do so, Lynn received his degree. He got the hours he needed from UNLV, and on Saturday he walked down the aisle to receive his bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary studies.

Lynn’s mother, Betty Jackson, was in attendance. So were his wife and daughter, as well as Chargers chairman Dean Spanos and Spanos’ wife. The Spanoses lent Lynn their jet in order to attend the ceremony, for which he will miss two days of Chargers rookie minicamp, according to ESPN.com.

Video: Chargers CB Casey Hayward on Rookie Derwin James and the Teams’ Outlook for 2018

The Chargers had a big night at the draft, and one of their studs took to NFL Network to chat about it, as Casey Hayward spoke about the pickup of rookie Derwin James, as well as how the team is preparing for the AFC West this upcoming season.