Chargers QB Philip Rivers tossed 7 INTs over his past 2 games before the Week 12 bye. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, another similar game could get him benched in favor of Tyrod Taylor. "It is a move the Chargers hope to not think about and hope to not make," Rapoport writes. But "it would be made, if necessary." Rivers sits well down our QB rankings for today's game at Denver. The next 3 contests find the Chargers visiting Jacksonville and then hosting Minnesota and Oakland, though. There's big passing upside in at least those Week 15 and Week 16 matchups ... for whoever's quarterbacking the Chargers.
The Chargers on Monday fired OC Ken Whisenhunt. The veteran coach was in his 4th season as coordinator, after previously running the Chargers' offense in 2013. This year's crew sits just 23rd in scoring and has particularly struggled to run the ball. L.A. still ranks a decent 15th in yards per play, though, and 14th in Football Outsiders' overall offensive DVOA (through Week 7 games). HC Anthony Lynn figures to take over the play calling. Perhaps we'll see a bit more rushing volume after the switch, but the Chargers will need to get much better blocking to improve efficiency on that front. We're not adjusting our fantasy outlook for any Chargers players on this news.
Update: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Chargers plan to have QBs coach Shane Steichen call plays, "though coach Anthony Lynn will be heavily involved & give input."
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Chargers WR Mike Williams (knee) is "likely to be used Sunday in red-zone situations" against the Lions. He only got in a limited practice on Friday but "showed improvement later in the week," according to Schefter. We'd still try to avoid Williams in Week 2 fantasy lineups, but this news does give QB Philip Rivers' stock a slight boost.
The Chargers announced that TE Hunter Henry suffered a tibia plateau fracture to his left knee in Sunday's win over the Colts. For what it's worth, this is the opposite knee in which he tore his ACL last spring. Henry will "continue to be evaluated" and a timetable for his return "has not yet been determined," per the team's statement. There are 3 instances of a tibia plateau fracture in Sports Injury Predictor's database. Those guys (Nate Burleson, Anthony Hitchens and Daniel Sorensen) missed anywhere from 1 to 3 months. We should learn more about Henry's status over the next few days, but fantasy owners obviously need to plan to be without him for a while. Virgil Green is currently the Chargers' backup TE. (We'll see if they try to bring Antonio Gates back.) Henry's absence will push even more targets to WR Keenan Allen and RB Austin Ekeler.
Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Chargers are expecting Henry to miss 4-6 weeks.
QB Tyrod Taylor has inked a 2-year deal with the Chargers. He'll serve as a strong backup to QB Philip Rivers but obviously holds no value in 2019 fantasy football drafts. Taylor will be 31 when this contract expires.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Chargers WR Keenan Allen (knee) is expected to play against the 49ers today. He only got in a limited practice on Friday, so don't expect him to be at 100%. But Allen still belongs in season-long lineups in a plum matchup. WR Travis Benjamin (foot) is also expected back for the Chargers today, per Rapoport. It's all good news for QB Philip Rivers.
Chargers TE Hunter Henry suffered a torn ACL in Tuesday's OTA session, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. "Did it during a drill, running downfield, untouched," Schefter tweeted. Freed from Antonio Gates' shadow, Henry was a prime breakout candidate entering his 3rd NFL season. He'll now miss the entire 2018 campaign. With Virgil Green now sitting atop the depth chart, the Chargers might consider bringing Gates back. The loss of Henry dings QB Philip Rivers' fantasy outlook and frees up targets for WRs Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers (concussion) is active for today’s game against the Bills. He practiced all week and received full clearance on Friday. Rivers is a solid QB1 vs. a Buffalo defense that’s allowed the 12th most fantasy points per game to QBs over the past 5 weeks.
The Chargers announced late Friday that QB Philip Rivers cleared the final step in the league concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Bills. We’ve had Rivers projected in starter territory all along against a Buffalo D that has sprung some recent leaks
Chargers QB Philip Rivers (concussion) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game vs. the Bills. He put in full practices on Thursday and Friday, so it sure looks like he’s on track to be cleared ahead of Sunday’s game. We should get another update on his status between now and Sunday morning.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers (concussion) was listed as a full participant in Thursday's practice. Barring a setback, he'll be out there for this weekend's game against the Bills. It's excellent news for all of Los Angeles' skill-position guys.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers (concussion) put in a limited practice on Wednesday. The fact that he was out there at all means he's made progress through the protocol. We'll continue to track his progress ahead of Sunday's game against the Bills.
Chargers HC Anthony Lynn announced Monday that QB Philip Rivers is in the concussion protocol. He didn't leave Sunday's loss to the Jaguars early, so the symptoms must have arisen Monday. We'll see about his status this week, but it obviously doesn't bode well for Sunday's game against the Bills. Kellen Clemens and Cardale Jones are the backups, with the team website listing Clemens #2.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Chargers will be activating rookie WR Mike Williams from the PUP and adding him to the 53-man roster. That's a surprising move after Williams spent the summer dealing with a back injury. He seemed a strong candidate to open the regular season on the PUP. This decision signals that Chargers coaches expect the 1st-round pick to be ready to contribute within the season's 1st quarter. We'd still be wary of expecting any fantasy value from Williams, but the added pass-catching talent can only help Philip Rivers.
The Chargers selected Clemson WR Mike Williams with the 7th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. He joins a loaded offense that also includes Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates. A scary neck injury cost Williams almost the entire 2015 campaign. But he turned in a strong 57-1,030-6 line as a sophomore and then exploded for 98 catches, 1,361 yards and 11 TDs this past year. Williams is a mediocre athlete who doesn’t create much separation at the top of his routes, but strong body control and hands make him dominant in contested situations. The question is whether those skills will translate to the next level against stronger DBs. Los Angeles isn’t an ideal landing spot, with loads of target competition in the short term and a QB question long term (Philip Rivers is 35).
On the same day they announced their relocation to Los Angeles, the Chargers named Anthony Lynn their new HC. Lynn has 17 seasons of experience in the NFL, but all but 1 of those were spent as a special teams or RB coach. Lynn was promoted to OC in Buffalo prior to Week 3 of this past season and was then named interim HC for the season finale. The Bills averaged 25.8 points per game under Lynn's watch -- a mark that would have ranked 8th league-wide. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Chargers are hoping to retain OC Ken Whisenhunt and hire Gus Bradley as DC.
Chargers WR Keenan Allen suffered an apparent right knee injury in the 2nd quarter of Sunday's game against the Chiefs. He had to be carted off the field. This obviously looks like a significant injury, but we'll update his status when we learn more. His absence would leave San Diego with WRs Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman atop the WR depth chart. TE Antonio Gates would probably be the biggest beneficiary.
WR Travis Benjamin is set to sign with the Chargers when free agency officially begins later today, according to NFL Network's Rand Getlin. Benjamin drew interest from at least 2 others teams after a breakout 68-966-5 line in 2015. Still smack dab in his prime at 26 years old, Benjamin will serve as the deep-threat complement to WR Keenan Allen in San Diego. He'll basically be replacing Malcom Floyd, who maxed out as a WR3 in fantasy football. Don't bank on much more than that from Benjamin.
The Chargers have hired Ken Whisenhunt as OC. He failed miserably as the Titans' HC but has a strong track record as OC. Whiz held that title in San Diego back in 2013, helping the Chargers finish 5th in total yards and 12th in points.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers (illness) is active for today’s game against the Chiefs. He’ll be playing with the flu in wet, windy conditions with a depleted WR corps. Rivers is a low-end QB2 for Week 14.
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