8 Things We've Learned from San Diego Chargers Training Camp So Far
After a week of training camp, there are eight things we've learned about the San Diego Chargers.
It's been a long week of work put in at Chargers Park for players and coaches alike. The team took some bumps and bruises along the way, but the practice time has prepared the Chargers for the long road ahead.
Here are the eight things we learned during the first week of camp.
Brandon Taylor Is Back
Brandon Taylor spent the first week of training camp watching from the sidelines as he continued to rehabilitate a torn ACL. The second-year defensive back was placed on the physically unable to perform list to start camp as a result of an injury he suffered in Week 16 last season against the New York Jets.
On Friday, the long-awaited announcement came that Taylor would be activated from the PUP list and join the team in camp following a physical, which he successfully passed on Thursday.
Now that he's back in action, Taylor will have an opportunity to compete with Marcus Gilchrist for the starting spot at strong safety.
Contract Extension in the Works for Donald Butler Early
The Chargers know Donald Butler is a player the team would like to build around, which is why they've already begun contract-extension talks during camp per Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego.
Butler has quickly progressed the past two seasons with San Diego, and he's demonstrated his importance to the team in becoming a leader in the locker room and mentor to young players like Manti Te'o.
King Dunlap Taking First-Team Snaps
King Dunlap has been given a majority of the first-team reps at left tackle early on in camp instead of experienced starter Max Starks. What was initially supposed to be a no-brainer decision is now turning into a legitimate position battle.
Starks did receive extensive practice time with the first team this past week, but only because Dunlap was nursing an undisclosed injury. When Dunlap returned, both men rotated in with the first team.
"Hard Knocks" in Store for 2014?
On a non-football related note, the rumor mill is buzzing with Hard Knocks chatter involving the Chargers. As Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego reported, team executives are discussing the possibility of doing the HBO reality series in 2014.
Injuries during training camp and the preseason aren't unheard of, but three San Diego linebackers have been injured in the offseason already. Melvin Ingram and Jonas Mouton were lost for the season with torn ACLs, and Jarret Johnson has missed a substantial amount of time in camp with an undisclosed injury.
While Johnson's injury doesn't appear to be serious according to Kevin Acee, it's somewhat of a coincidence to see players from the same unit dealing with the injury bug early.
Chargers Not Willing to Risk Vincent Brown
Vincent Brown came into training camp hungry to be an impact player on the team after missing last season with a broken ankle, but a recent hamstring injury is keeping the receiver from participating in practices.
Whether Brown will be able to play during the preseason remains to be seen, but there doesn't appear to be a need to rush his recovery. Having already missed his entire sophomore season, the Chargers don't want to risk Brown's status for the 2013 season.
Robert Meachem Still on the Roster
The Chargers are already through a week of training camp, and Robert Meachem hasn't gone anywhere. However, that hasn't prevented the rumors from shutting down regarding the receiver's potential exit from San Diego.
As Clark Judge of CBS Sports reports, sources close to the team informed him that Meachem won't be a factor next season. In the meantime, Meachem will continue to participate in camp and earn a roster spot until the team decides what do with him and his $5 million guaranteed.
Running Back by Committee Approach in San Diego?
It seems as though Ryan Mathews will have to learn to share the backfield next season as there is speculation the Chargers will implement a multi-back system this year according to U-T San Diego and Rotoworld.
Bringing back Ronnie Brown and signing Danny Woodhead in the offseason wasn't just an insurance policy to Mathews, but rather a way of installing more versatility in the backfield.