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Robert Meachem's body reportedly is 'broken down'

San Diego Chargers free-agent bust Robert Meachem admitted last week that he had looked in the mirror and told himself he "sucked" last season.

Is it possible that he could be even worse this season?

Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego suggests Meachem's performance in training camp and the preseason opener has been so underwhelming that the Chargers would be at a competitive disadvantage in keeping him on the roster to justify his guaranteed $5 million salary.

One person familiar with the situation told Acee emphatically that Meachem is "broken down," that his body has degenerated since his days with the New Orleans Saints from 2007 to 2011.

Meachem has undergone multiple knee procedures, a significant ankle surgery and a toe repair since entering the NFL. The injuries appear to be catching up with the wide receiver, who turns 29 in September.

Even with Danario Alexander's ACL tear, Meachem finds himself buried on the depth chart. People close to the Chargers told Clark Judge of they were convinced even before training camp opened that Meachem "won't be a factor" this season.

Meachem still is trying to establish a rapport with Philip Rivers, but the 2007 first-round draft pick has looked as "lost" in coodinator Ken Whisenhunt's offense as he did in Norv Turner's offense; Meachem was caught running lazy routes during Thursday's preseason game.

The Chargers can forget about finding a trade partner for their wide receiver boondoggle. The question is whether new general manager Tom Telesco still is prepared to stand by an underperforming player acquired by his predecessor when a younger option might prove superior.

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