Chargers Rumors

Chargers Place Jaylen Watkins On IR

The Chargers announced that they’ve placed safety Jaylen Watkins on injured reserve after he suffered a torn ACL in Saturday night’s preseason games, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Watkins, 26, wasn’t expected to start for Los Angeles in 2017, as the club will deploy first-round pick Derwin James and Jahleel Addae at safety. But the former fourth-round pick could have offered valuable depth, as Watkins appeared in 36 games during a four-year run with the Eagles. Philadelphia opted not to tender Watkins as a restricted free agent this offseason, and he subsequently met with the 49ers before landing with the Chargers.

Even with Watkins sidelined, Los Angeles has enough safety depth to get by in 2018. James and Addae project to be backed up by Rayshawn Jenkins and Adrian Phillips, while A.J. Hendy could be kept on the the Chargers’ practice squad. Fourth-round rookie Kyzir White, drafted nominally as a safety, is expected to play a sub-package linebacker role in LA.

To replace Watkins on their roster, the Chargers announced that they’ve claimed defensive back Micah Hannemann off waivers from the Browns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Melvin Gordon Believes His Next Contract Will Look Like Todd Gurley's

Chargers running back Melvin Gordon will not be eligible for unrestricted free agency until after the 2019 season, as the Bolts picked up his fifth-year option for 2019 back in May. He cracked the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career last season, and he continues to be a force as a receiver out of the backfield. Nonetheless, as Jack Wang of the Orange County Register writes, Gordon still has a long way to go before he can command the type of contract that fellow 2015 first-rounder Todd Gurley recently pulled down (Gordon, after all, has yet to average four yards per carry in his three seasons in the league).

Hunter Henry Could Return In 2018?

Chargers tight end Hunter Henry is now three months removed from undergoing surgery for a torn ACL, and there is reportedly a “glimmer of hope” the third-year pro could return during the 2018 campaign, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com.

Most ACL injuries require a minimum nine-month recover period, a timeline which should have ruled out Henry for the regular season. But Henry has been moving well during Los Angeles’ training camp, per Williams, who adds Henry “doesn’t look like someone who believes [his] season is over.”

The Chargers will almost surely place Henry on injured reserve during roster cutdowns in September, but there’s a chance he could be designated as an IR/return player. (A player with that designation must be carried through to his club’s respective initial 53-man roster before being moved to IR.) Henry would be able to play after missing Los Angeles’ first eight games, meaning he could return on November 11, just shy of six months after his ACL surgery.

At that point, the Chargers’ team record and standing within the AFC West would likely play a role in their decision on Henry. If Los Angeles isn’t in contention, it won’t risk Henry’s health in a lost season. As Williams notes, the Chargers must take into account the 23-year-old Henry’s long-term outlook with the club, not just his potential 2018 impact.

Without Henry available, the Chargers will begin the season with Virgil Green as their top tight end, while Sean Culkin, Braedon Bowman, Je’Ron Hamm, Cole Hunt, and Ben Johnson are also on the roster. However, Los Angeles is still negotiating with franchise icon Antonio Gates, who reportedly won’t play for any team besides the Chargers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/18/18

Today’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Signed: LB Kyle Coleman

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Signed: WR Darius Prince
  • Waived: DT Adam Reth

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/16/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

  • Signed: DT DeQuinton Osborne
  • Waived/injured: DT Paul Boyette

Chargers Claim TE Je’Ron Hamm

The Chargers added a tight end to their roster today, but it probably wasn’t the player fans were hoping for. The team announced that they’ve claimed tight end Je’Ron Hamm off waivers from the Seahawks. To make room on the roster, the Chargers waived wideout Marcus Peterson.

The 26-year-old Hamm has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted out of Louisiana-Monroe back in 2014. He had a pair of receptions for 13 yards in 2015 with the 49ers, and he’s also had stints with the Saints, Redskins, and Seahawks. He signed with Seattle back in July, and after being waived and re-signed, he was waived a second time yesterday.

Of course, following the season-ending injury to Hunter Henry, there’s been plenty of speculation that the Chargers would re-sign veteran Antonio Gates. Head coach Anthony Lynn recently said that negotiations were ongoing, and the need for a veteran was clear after Chargers tight ends accounted for five drops during the team’s preseason opener. However, for the time being, the team is rolling with Hamm, Virgil Green, Sean Culkin, and Braedon Bowman.

Peterson signed with the Chargers earlier this month. He became the first Seton Hill University alumni to sign with an NFL team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Notes: Gates, Jones, Smith, Nwosu

After Hunter Henry was lost for the season with a torn ACL, it was immediately speculated that the Chargers might look to bring back Antonio Gates. Gates’ NFL career appeared to be over after the Chargers indicated they were moving on, but Henry’s injury threw him a lifeline.

Gates isn’t interested in playing for any other team, and the two sides had talks right after Henry went down. Despite there still being no deal in place with the preseason already underway, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said “we’re still talking with him” after the Chargers’ game against the Cardinals, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN. Williams points out that the Chargers tight ends accounted for five drops in the preseason opener, and Lynn said “we need to make more plays at the tight end position.” It all sounds like eventually something will get done with Gates.

Here’s more from Los Angeles:

  • In the race to be Philip Rivers‘ backup between Geno Smith and Cardale Jones, Smith “appeared to seize control of the competition” with his strong performance in the first week of the preseason, Williams writes. Smith threw for over 200 yards while Jones, who started the game, threw for only 50 on 12 attempts.
  • Williams writes that rookie linebacker Uchenna Nwosu could start right away for the team. Nwosu, the 48th overall pick in this year’s draft from USC, had a sack and two quarterback hits in his professional debut.
  • In case you missed it, we took a look at the Chargers’ situation at guard as Forrest Lamp continues to rehab from a knee injury.

Schofield Filling In For Lamp

The Chargers are seemingly never able to stay healthy, and this year hasn’t been any different. They’ve already lost Hunter Henry and Jason Verrett to season ending injuries. Last year’s second round pick, guard Forrest Lamp, has been expected to start for the team in 2018, but has been very slow in recovering from a knee injury that cost him his whole rookie season.

Given Lamp’s history, it’s entirely possible Schofield ends up being a starting guard for the Chargers this year. Here’s more from the AFC:

Chargers' Free Safety Job Up For Grabs

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/2/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Waived: DE Ja’Von Rolland-Jones

Dallas Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: G Nick Callender

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • Waived/injured: G Nate Theaker

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers