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Depth Playing a Key Role with Wide Receivers
Written by Michael Spanos
Since the beginning of training camp, head coach Norv Turner has stressed how important it is to have depth at every position group in case of certain uncontrollable events. After the unfortunate loss of wide receiver Vincent Brown in Saturday’s game against the Cowboys with a broken ankle, that depth will be tested as the remaining wideouts now must step up to fill the void of the talented second year player.
“You go through a 16-game season and you go through all the things you want to go through, you’re going to have adversity,” said Turner. “We’ve brought a lot of guys in here. We signed some guys who people have said, ‘Well why did you sign him?’ It’s because we have been in a position where we’ve had some adversity. I think we’re equipped to handle what comes our way and we’ll have some guys step up and fill his shoes.”
Quarterback Philip Rivers explained after the Cowboys preseason game how Brown was “really coming on” and was “obviously going to be a big part of what we do. He was having a great preseason, a great camp. You hate seeing anyone get injured. Unfortunately, it’s part of it and guys will have to step up.”
At the time of his injury, Brown led the team with six receptions for 112 yards and a pair of touchdowns after the first two preseason games.
Fortunately, the wide receiver group has the depth that Turner has preached all preseason, and the team this week got back two wideouts from injuries of their own. Richard Goodman returned Monday after missing the last two weeks, while Eddie Royal is expected to return today after injuring himself on the first day of camp. These two talented receivers are ready to join off-season acquisitions Robert Meachem, Roscoe Parrish and Micheal Spurlock, along with Charger vets Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates.
Alongside these veteran receivers, young rookie wideouts will now have a great chance to make a name for themselves as they attempt to step in and help fill the void created by Brown’s absence. Taylor Embree and Mike Willie are two in particular who have had strong performances in the first two preseason games. Embree had two receptions for 54 yards, highlighted by a 37-yard pass from Jarrett Lee against the Green Bay Packers. Willie, meanwhile, caught a 38-yard dart from Charlie Whitehurst against the Cowboys for a touchdown, and led the team in receiving yards for the game.
The loss of Brown is a clear blow to the team’s receiving corps, but luckily for them, the position has great depth which will allow Rivers to keep slinging the ball without missing a beat.