- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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The San Diego Chargers are two days away from their first preseason and they have already lost two key players for the season due to a torn ACL in their knees.
San Diego Chargers
In a non-contact drill in May, pass-rusher Melvin Ingram, a 2012 first-round pick, was lost for the season. Tuesday, after a freak contact play with cornerback Shareece Wright, Danario Alexander suffered a torn ACL in his right knee. Initially, the team did not think it was serious.
But Alexander is now out for the year.
A serious injury was the Chargers’ greatest worry about Alexander. He turns 25 Wednesday, but this is his sixth major knee injury dating back to his college days. Injury concerns were the reason why the Chargers didn’t give Alexander a long-term deal in the offseason. He was a restricted free agent.
Now, sadly, we all have to wonder if Alexander will ever enjoy the health to go along with his immense ability. Last year, Alexander showed how he can make an impact if healthy.
Alexander signed off the street and made an instant impact in San Diego. He had 37 catches, 7 touchdown catches and averaged 17.8 yards per catch last season. Alexander had a strong camp and was expected to be a key part of San Diego’s offense. Quarterback Philip Rivers raved about Alexander to me today before the extent of his injury was known.
Alexander earned the respect of the San Diego locker room for coming back from injuries and making such a quick impact last year. I spoke to one prominent San Diego player who said he was almost in tears because he feels so bad for Alexander.
However, the Chargers won’t have much time to dwell on the injury. They will have to march on without Alexander.
When Ingram was hurt, the Chargers had little depth at pass-rusher and had to go out and pay for Dwight Freeney. I don’t think that will be this case at receiver.
I am sure the Chargers will consider adding a player, and the best available receiver is Brandon Lloyd. He played for new San Diego head coach Mike McCoy in Denver.
But the Chargers have a deep group that includes Malcom Floyd, Vincent Brown, rookie Keenan Allen, Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem. Like Alexander, most of these players have had some trouble staying healthy. If the group can stay healthy, they should be solid, although Alexander’s big-play ability will be missed.
5dEric D. Williams
6dEric D. Williams