Another week, another loss. In the preseason, a loss isn’t entirely measured in the win and loss column. Rather, it is measured by seeing how potential contributors can matriculate the ball down the field and stay healthy.
The Chargers' blemish-free 2-0 record has come at a crushing cost. In week one, we bore witness to a freakish accident that lead to Ryan Mathews sitting the sideline for four weeks. The Bolts cannot buy a break. Or, maybe I spoke to soon.
In week two, a break, and not the beneficial break, was precisely what the Chargers received. After converting on a third quarter touchdown reception, Vincent Brown suffered a broken ankle.
Brown has quietly flown under the radar. He isn’t your prototypical standout receiver, but he gets the job done. But if you’re a fantasy guru, No. 86 is a tangible asset in your receiving core. That being said, if you’re like me, a fifth-round draft pick is now squandered.
With Vincent Jackson out of the question, Brown scurried up the depth chart and slotted himself in prime position to have a breakout year.
I draw similar comparisons to his style of play with that of teammate Antonio Gates. Both players play much bigger than their physical stature and can acrobatically contort their bodies to corral any ball thrown in their direction.
Fortunately, the Chargers were able to nab the deep-threat abilities of Robert Meachem to complement No. 80. That isn’t to say that Brown was Rivers’ most wanted receiver, but he was on the rise to becoming a respectable threat down field.
More or less, the Chargers were utilizing him as a hidden gem. Now, he is hidden until at least the fifth game.
Rivers is now left with a returning core of Gates and Malcom Floyd to make up for the loss of Brown.
Scanning down the depth chart, the Chargers will need to see premature production from their speedster, Eddie Royal.
Royal will see an increased workload, but that shouldn’t phase him. In his rookie campaign, Royal hit the ground running, literally. He lit up the statistic sheets after hauling in a career-best 91 receptions, 980 receiving yards and five touchdowns. The Chargers are hoping Royal can rekindle his rookie reign.
The Chargers will look to use him underneath in the crossing patterns, and draw the secondary coverage to lift the pressure off the workhorse, Antonio Gates.
If No. 11 can attract defenses with his game-changing speed, the Chargers will be moving the chains with ease.
His instinctive abilities should warrant much success in 2012. It is easier said than done, but if everyone does their part, Brown’s loss won’t be as painful as it appears.