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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
SAN DIEGO – Vincent Brown entered Week 9 with just two catches for 26 yards, seemingly locked into being another rookie prevented from making significant contributions due to a training camp injury that wiped out a crucial learning period.
So much for that. Brown has nine catches for 176 yards and a touchdown in the last two games, starting in place of an injured Malcom Floyd, and the rookie has proven an exciting addition to the Chargers’ offense.
"I think that Vincent has shown he’s going to be an outstanding player," Head Coach Norv Turner said. "I think he does something every day that impresses me and jumps out at me. He’s got very natural abilities and very good instincts."
His youth has shown at times, including against Oakland when he misheard the play call and ran the incorrect route. But his natural ability also has come through, particularly on two dazzling end zone catches, one of which was overturned due to an unusual set of circumstances that nonetheless didn’t take away from the balance and concentration Brown displayed.
“I saw signs of it in April,” Philip Rivers said. “You could just tell he was a football player early on. He had a knack and a feel for the game as early as this summer when we threw a handful of times.”
A hamstring injury during the second practice of training camp wiped out Brown’s preseason and kept him from playing until Week 3 against Kansas City. His first catches came a week later against Miami, but the 5-foot-11, 184-pound receiver didn’t have a reception during a three-game road trip.
With Floyd out against Green Bay and Oakland, Brown inherited more opportunities and produced well. Now, even if Floyd returns (he hasn’t practiced in a few weeks), Brown is determined to remain part of the offense.
“These last two weeks, the way he’s come on, obviously we want Malcom healthy and back out there with us, but I’d imagine (Brown) is going to be a part of it no matter what down the stretch, and we need him to be,” Rivers said.
WINDY CITY: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw four interceptions against Chicago last week. The Bears’ defense has proven adept at taking the ball away, but Soldier Field isn’t the place to throw wobbly passes, and Stafford felt like the wind affected some of his attempts.
Friday’s forecast called for wind gusts of more than 40 mph, but Sunday is projected to look nice – 45 degrees and mostly cloudy with less wind.
“You’d rather have wet than wind,” Rivers said of the prospect of gusty conditions. “You’d better throw spirals in the wind, that’s all I know. If you don’t, that ball can get away from you real quick.”