Chargers rookie WR Davis steps up

SAN DIEGO -- One day after the Chargers lost starting receiver Eric Parker for up to 10 weeks after toe surgery, first-round pick Craig Davis had a solid performance during a public practice at Qualcomm Stadium.

The rookie from LSU took first-team repetitions on Saturday since Parker and projected starter Vincent Jackson (lower leg) were both out. Davis made an impressive leaping touchdown catch over safety Marlon McCree and linebacker Matt Wilhelm during a two-minute drill near the end of practice.

"I'm not trying to be the guy who comes in and just takes over," Davis said. "I'm just trying to come in and help the team out best I can. We know Eric's going to be down and I'm just trying to do my best to get better."

Davis' effort was timely with the loss of Parker and coming after his own recent knee tendinitis.

"He's had a couple nicks and he's missed a day or two but when he's come back, he has responded and made big plays," coach Norv Turner said. "Regardless of Eric's situation, Craig has come in here and been impressive.

"We want to get Eric back as soon as we can, but Craig is going to be a factor on our football team."

Davis was taken with the 30th overall pick, a move that surprised some observers.

But general manager A.J. Smith was enthusiastic about Davis' potential. Davis caught 141 passes at LSU despite being overshadowed by teammate Dwayne Bowe, who was drafted No. 23 by Kansas City.

"Craig Davis is an all-around terrific football player," Smith said earlier in camp. "He has great speed, great hands, is an outstanding route runner, loves the game, great work ethic.

"I know he was the second fiddle there to a young man who is a hell of a football player in Kansas City but we really like him. We think he's going to be a great fit for us. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do to help us."

The exhibition season could determine whether Davis makes the starting lineup. Davis also is in the mix to be the team's punt returner.

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