As the regular season inches closer and closer, every young player at San Diego Chargers camp is losing time and opportunities at making the team.
While Vincent Brown, Ladarius Green, Michael Hayes and Melvin Ingram are having stellar camp practices, some youngsters are still trying to get used to things. The NFL is a big adjustment from college. Making the team alone is a tough transition for former practice-squad players, as well as ones who were never allowed the opportunity to break out. Either you can become a Victor Cruz and come out of nowhere to explode on the big stage or the opposite, like Larry English.
Enlightened to say, the Chargers do not have many young players struggling through camp.
After being drafted in the seventh round by the San Diego Chargers, Baker has become an afterthought. The third running back position is up for grabs with Ryan Mathews and Ronnie Brown at one and two. Baker is in a battle with Curtis Brinkley, Jackie Battle and Michael Hayes.
Unfortunately for him, all three of those backs are outplaying the rookie, including Hayes, who went undrafted. Edwin Baker has speed, allowing himself to have more opportunities in the future.
A.J. Smith knew the risk of taking Johnnie Troutman in the fifth round. He knew that there would be a possibility that he would have to sit out a year recovering from an injury. Now, instead of knowing, A.J. Smith is hoping that the risk pays off and it was worth the wait.
Troutman may be ready later in the season, but the Chargers will more than likely not call his name. As if not being able to practice and play his first season isn't bad enough, Johnnie Troutman is a Penn State graduate, having to go through the fallout and turmoil of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Luck is not on the side of third-year running back Ryan Mathews. On his first carry this preseason, Mathews broke his clavicle. He had surgery Monday and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Although he thinks he'll be ready by Week 1, coaches don't want to rush things. It seems that Mathews has never had a normal offseason and preseason.
The Chargers are committed to Mathews, as they should be. 2012 is another training camp that Mathews wishes he could start over.