Vincent Brown breaks ankle: What does this mean for the offense?
The Chargers aren’t having much luck with injuries this preseason and have lost yet another contributor on offense.
After Ryan Mathews got injured on the very first play during last week’s preseason opener vs the Packers, the injury bug struck again last night as wide receiver Vincent Brown suffered a broken ankle in the preseason win against the Dallas Cowboys. Just to add insult to injury, (literally) Brown was just after catching an 18-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.
According to Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego, he will undergo surgery and is expected to be out for at least 8 weeks. (https://twitter.com/UTKevinAcee/status/237042363342663680)
So what does this mean for the offense?
This is another devastating blow for the offense with yet another playmaker heading to the sidelines alongside Ryan Mathews. Without Mathews or Brown, free agent acquisitions like Ronnie Brown and Robert Meachem will be asked to step up and contribute in their absence.
What makes this injury so devastating for both Brown and the Chargers is the timing of it. Brown was having a great training camp and was taking advantage of the opportunity that was left by Vincent Jackson.
After a solid rookie year, he looked as though he was set for a big improvement this season. As I already pointed out on this blog, I predicted Brown to have a big year (https://mrnfl.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/chargers-sign-parrish-a-breakdown-of-the-updated-wide-receiver-depth-chart/)
Now likely to miss half the year, the offense will be now be without the starting running back and one of the best receivers.
Other notes from last night’s game
- Quarterback play improved- Philip Rivers had a much better game in this one compared to last week vs the Packers. He was much more effective with his passing and in reading the defense. Although he did throw two interceptions, those were the only two passes he missed all game. Backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst also looked good during his time in the game as he passed for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
- Running back is still an issue- With Ryan Mathews out injured, their is still no clear leader in the race to replace him. Although there are plenty of options at the position with veterans Ronnie Brown and Jackie Battle competing with rookie Edwin Baker for carries, all of them are yet to show if they are capable to start in the regular season.
- Shareece Wright stepped up- Second year cornerback didn’t make much of an impact in rookie season last year and only played in seven games due of injury. However, Wright has managed to stay healthy so far this season and is finally showing what he can produce. He had a huge game last night with one interception, one sack, one forced fumble and three tackles. If can keep playing like this, he may manage to force his way into the starting lineup.
- Melvin Ingram is for real- The selection of first round-pick Melvin Ingram is just getting better and better for the defense. Ingram has already shown enough potential in two preseason games to draw comparisons to former Charger Shawne Merriman. After impressing in his first game last week, Ingram impressed again last night and also managed to get his first sack. Ingram looks set to have a big year and I stand by my prediction of 10 sacks for him in his rookie season.
What’s next for the Chargers?
Next up for San Diego is a trip to Minnesota play the Vikings on Friday.
This should be the last time that the starters play significant snaps before the regular season begins. The third preseason game is usually used as the final warm up for the starters and so expect them to play an entire half vs the Vikings.
The final point I wanted to bring up was the availability of Chad Johnson. I mentioned the Chargers as a possible destination for Chad last week. (https://mrnfl.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/chad-johnson-gets-cut-timeline-of-events-and-whats-next-for-85/) With Vincent Brown out, I think it could make sense to bring in another receiver.
But with A.J. Smith and Norv Turner running the team, the likelihood of the them bringing in a troubled 34-year-old receiver coming off a poor season seems a little far fetched.
But on the off chance that this does happen, I would be ecstatic as Chad is my favorite receiver in the league. If it doesn’t happen, there’s always Madden 13 to make sure that it does!!!