No team suffered worse injury luck than the Chargers in 2015. That's why it feels so unfair that they suffered the first serious on-field injury at training camp this offseason.
We have been circling the Chargers as a sleeper playoff team for a while because of their promising young defense and their diverse offense. Philip Rivers has a lot of options to throw to between Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, Travis Benjamin, Danny Woodhead, Melvin Gordon and second-round tight end Hunter Henry. This is not a team about size and strength, rather craft and route running.
Watching Rivers and Johnson together felt like watching two players in a pickup game making things up as they went along, and doing it well. It would be a shame if they can't do it in 2016.
Here's what else we learned Monday:
- After five Broncos practices, no one has created any separation for the Broncos quarterback job. That's not a great sign for Mark Sanchez, the veteran of the group. The biggest story Monday was the continued progress of Paxton Lynch. After an excellent Sunday practice, he looked strong again Monday.
"No. 12 is really, really stepping up," coach Gary Kubiak said. "He's making some progress here."
Yes, No. 12 is Lynch. He's been taking third-string snaps while Sanchez and Trevor Siemian share the starter snaps. We'll know Kubiak means his words when Lynch starts playing with the starters, too.
- The Bills' signing of Reggie Bush feels like a player having come full circle. Now Buffalo signed him primarily as a returner, according to general manager Doug Whaley. Some early camp struggles at the position opened a potential spot for Bush. If he doesn't make the team out of camp, that would probably be it for a weirdly underrated NFL career. (Four seasons with at least 1,200 yards from scrimmage and 7 TDs.)
- The Bills have had a lot of discouraging news this offseason, but the recent progress toward a Tyrod Taylor extension qualifies as a pleasant surprise. According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, there is "plenty of optimism" that a deal will be struck before the start of the regular season. It will be a tricky contract to complete, but we like the idea of Buffalo buying (relatively) low on a deal that protects both sides.
"That was me trying to manipulate emotions to get what I wanted at that time," Davis said via CSNBayArea.
- Day two of Blaine Gabbert vs. Colin Kaepernick went to Kaepernick. This section from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat about Gabbert was brutal:
"Gabbert threw one pick and completed just 14 of 23 passes during team drills. On third down, he completed only one pass and threw short of the first-down marker three times even though it was a 7-on-7 drill and there was no pass rush. At least he practices the way he plays."
"It was good for me," Hue Jackson said Monday. "But at the same time I think he found out this business is rough. There's a lot of hours that we keep and I don't think Chad's used to that."