Brown, who started his career with the Chargers, was in San Diego from 2011-2013 before being released. He spent a year with the Oakland Raiders in 2014 and has not played in the league this season after being cut by the Indianapolis Colts in September.
The Chargers will need him too. No. 1 receiver Keenan Allen is out for the season because of a lacerated kidney, while Stevie Johnson and Dontrelle Inman suffered injuries during San Diego's loss to the Denver Broncos during Week 13, per Gehlken.
The injuries only left two receivers—Malcom Floyd and Javontee Herndon—dressed and available for quarterback Philip Rivers against the Broncos. Gehlken noted that rookie Tyrell Williams, who was a healthy scratch against the Broncos, could play in Week 14 while providing some depth at the position.
Floyd, who currently leads healthy receivers with 23 catches, is 34 years old and playing with a torn labrum, an injury that can be extremely painful whenever arms are extended or raised. That's not the kind of option to rely on in the passing game.
According to Gehlken, what made Brown so appealing to the Chargers was his familiarity with Rivers. Brown recorded 801 yards in two seasons in San Diego, having lost 2012 because of a broken ankle.
Brown will have to relearn the Chargers offense on the fly, as San Diego could rely on him to make an immediate impact among a hobbled or inexperienced group. The Chargers are heavily reliant on the passing game, which accounts for almost 80 percent of their total offense and ranks fourth in the league in passing yards per game.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.