Chargers' Melvin Ingram gets lighter to combat stress

Melvin Ingram missed 19 games the past two seasons due to injury. In a crucial year for the former first-round pick, the San Diego Chargers' outside linebacker decided to drop weight.

Ingram told U-T San Diego's Michael Gehlken that he lost 20 pounds working out in Miami this offseason and hopes cutting weight will help keep him on the field.

"Being at 260 or 265, 266, wasn't working, really," Ingram said. "I felt quick but I kept getting injured. You've got to nitpick at your own body, your own self, your own game. ... I felt like playing lighter would be a better thing for me. The lighter you are, the less stress it is on your body, the less stress it is on your knees, your hips, your joints or your ankles, your toes -- everything."

With a dearth of pass-rushers, the Chargers are counting on Ingram to completely bounce back after an ACL tear in 2013 and a hip issue that kept him out for portions of 2014. He showed burst and promise down the stretch last season.

Not every player succeeds playing at a different weight, especially when part of his job is to bang with massive offensive linemen. But Ingram is confident the work he put in this offseason will pay off.

"I feel it's going to be a whole different explosion, a whole different Melvin," Ingram said. "I feel like that 260-Melvin is gone."

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