In 2014 the three biggest issues for the San Diego Chargers were (in no particular order) the offensive line, pass rush and running game.
Injuries and a lack of depth added to the problems so in the off-season they signed guard Orlando Franklin to bolster the o-line, nabbed defensive tackle Mitch Unrein and made four of their five draft picks on the defensive side of the ball to help with the pass rush, and traded up in the first round to grab Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon to fix the running game.
Just four days in to Training Camp 2015 guess which areas are already being hit by injuries?
On Saturday defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi suffered a broken foot. On Sunday it got worse. Franklin was on the ground for several minutes before leaving the field with the trainers to attend to what looked like a leg injury; defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews also hobbled off with a leg injury; and Gordon did not even practice, instead watching from the sidelines in a visor.
After practice head coach Mike McCoy was not in an information-sharing mood, especially about ... well anybody but let's start with why Gordon was held out.
"it's a physical camp and there's going to be bumps and bruises," said McCoy. "It's all part of training camp. All those guys get dinged. We'll get them in to rehab and as soon as they're ready to go they'll get back out there. And, we're going to rest guys just to rest guys as we go, too."
Well "rehab" sounds like something is actually wrong. When asked for clarification on whether or not Gordon's was a scheduled day off (which would be odd for a rookie who needs to get as many reps as possible), we got this.
"Throughout training camp there's going to be bumps and bruises," said McCoy. "We're going to rest guys. Guys are going to be out because of bumps and bruises. When they're ready and they're healthy and we think they should practice they'll be back on the practice field."
OK how about Franklin? What happened to take him off the practice field and why could he not continue?
"I was there for part of it. They were trying to stretch him and get him loose and this and that. When they're that big someone takes a little longer to loosen up so I just told them to bring him inside. He'll be ready to roll soon."
It's nice to see coach is already in mid-season form. The first couple of days of camp teams across the league will see injuries. It's been a while since the players have really hit something, or truly been hit. So you just have to expect guys are going to go down and hope it's not severe.
"You've got to get in football shape and there's only one way to get in football shape," said McCoy. "It's been a physical camp the first couple of days."
Now Chargers fans are left hoping the guys who had to leave are not out for an extended period of time. It looks like the only way to find that out is wait and see who takes the field each day.