Scouting the enemy: Los Angeles Chargers ready for Week 1 showdown with Chiefs
By Kody Latham
Looking at the Chargers offense, there has not been much turnover from last year. Philip Rivers is still the starting quarterback, Melvin Gordon is still the starting running back, and Keenan Allen is still the most dangerous wide receiver at their disposal.
If we are looking at the changes this offense has gone through, the first one that we should mention is last year’s second round pick Forrest Lamp will not be starting according to the Chargers unofficial depth chart. Lamp is still recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered during camp last season. In his stead the Chargers will have Micheal Schofield starting at right guard.
Schofield is not a new addition to the Chargers, having signed with the team after being cut by the Denver Broncos during roster cuts last season. Schofield played primarily as a backup for the Chargers last season but also started five games at right tackle while filling in for Joe Barksdale. Schofield struggled with his new duties as the starting right tackle; he was rated as the 65th overall tackle in the league last season by Pro Football Focus.
The tight end position is one that has been manned by Antonio Gates, the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions, for the past 14 years. The Chargers informed Gates that they did not plan on bringing him back for the 2018 season since there was a plan to move on from him. Unfortunately Hunter Henry, the promising heir to Gates’s throne, tore his ACL early on in camp. This has prompted the Chargers to sign Gates back to the team, but they waited until this week to do so. Anthony Lynn has come out publicly and stated that Gates would be on a pitch count this week as he works his way back into game shape.
The Chargers will also be relying on last year’s first round pick Mike Williams to stay healthy and contribute more than he did last season. After being drafted, Williams suffered a herniated disk in his back, which caused him to miss the entire offseason and lingered into the regular season. Once he had gotten over his back injury, he suffered some more minor injuries that made it hard for him to see the field. This season reports have been positive about his development, and he was named a 2018 breakout candidate by Bleacher Report.