Johnson went down early in camp with a knee injury and Clark (knee) and Cumberland (Achilles) were injured this past week in the teams second preseason game of the year against the Arizona Cardinals. It has been a tough first couple weeks of training camp for the Chargers. The team cannot afford to occur anymore injuries.
Losing all three are big blows to the offensive unit. Johnson was replaced on the roster by James Jones. He is a veteran wide out who has great hands and is a decent replacement for Johnson. The Chargers should not skip a beat as far as production from the wide receiver.
Replacing Clark and Cumberland will be high on the list of things to do this week for the Chargers. The offensive line might take priority at this point though as D.J. Fluker went down in practice Monday morning and was in a walking boot by the afternoon.
We will wait and see what the team does. There are some decent options still out there on the open market for the team as far as lineman are concerned.
As far the tight end position goes. The Chargers currently have both Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry with assured roster spots. Cumberland was a lock for the team as a 2nd/3rd string TE coming into the year. The team has Sean McGrath and Asante Cleveland in camp but neither is a great option for the Chargers. There is one name out there who is still available on the open market and fits the Chargers’ scheme.
That man is Owen Daniels, who is currently looking for a job in 2016. Daniels would provide excellent leadership for the club and he could also help mentor rookie Hunter Henry. The 10-year veteran was with the Denver Broncos last year where he started 16 games for the team. He was one of Peyton Manning‘s favorite targets and he could surely build identical chemistry with Philip Rivers.
Daniels caught 46 balls last year for 517 yards and scored three touchdowns. He was constantly targeted by Manning last year and even scored two touchdowns for the Broncos in the their playoff run. Having a recent Super Bowl Champion could be interesting for the Chargers as they try to generate their own winning formula. Bringing a former Bronco into the system could also help the defense as the might possibly learn the nuances of the Broncos’ offense from him. Daniels was quite familiar with the system all though it has surely changed to some degree with Peyton Manning not in the Broncos’ locker room.
In Daniels 10-year career he has played for the Texans, Ravens and Broncos. He has recorded 479 catches for 5,661 yards and scored 36 touchdowns. He is not the quickest of receivers, but does have the uncanny ability to get open. He has played in 131 games and started 125 of them. He is a gamer and with a productive year last year, I was shocked to learn he was still on the open market. He will surely get a job soon. Injuries are starting to hit and rookies are not living up to the hype. Veterans that are looking for jobs can and will get every opportunity to walk onto a team. Tom Telesco is surely doing his homework on Daniels and anyone else who is available. Scott Chandler is also a free agent and looking for work. He is a veteran TE. but I believe Daniels is clearly the better option for the Chargers at this point. Stay tuned, there should be some movement from the Chargers in regards to a new tight end. We will soon get an answer as that first game comes closer to being a reality. Go Chargers!