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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
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Alexander's Break Out Game Was Biggest Bright Spot for Bolts
For two years with the St. Louis Rams, wide receiver Danario Alexander struggled with injuries. It started with knee surgery in February 2010, just months before the NFL Draft. The surgery, stemming from an injury suffered during the Senior Bowl, did not allow Alexander to participate at the NFL Combine or his pro day at the University of Missouri.
As a result, Alexander went undrafted, eventually being signed by the Rams. In two years with the Rams, Alexander played in 18 games and had 46 career receptions for 737 yards and three touchdowns. But injuries continued to ravage his NFL career.
Several surgeries and two years later, Alexander is making quite the impact with the San Diego Chargers.
“I’ve been battling injuries for a little while,” Alexander said. “Now, I’m making the best of my opportunities here. I’m just trying to take advantage of everything I get.”
Starting in place of Robert Meachem against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Alexander had his biggest game of his young career. He hauled in five catches for a career-high 134 yards and one touchdown, including a career-high 80-yard touchdown reception on the Chargers’ third play from scrimmage.
“I just wanted to make the best of all the opportunities I got,” he said. “I knew early in the week that I’d be starting. I was taking all the reps with the first team, so that helped me in my preparations”.
During the game, quarterback Philip Rivers often looked to Alexander on third down.
Early in the second quarter, Rivers found Alexander for a gain of 14 yards on a 3rd-and-9. Later in the third quarter, Alexander hauled in a catch for 19 yards on another 3rd-and-9 to prolong the drive. A few plays later, Rivers connected with Alexander again for a six-yard gain on 3rd-and-4.
“It’s my job,” Alexander said. “Everyday I’m working hard to get better. I’m trying to understand the playbook, stay on the same page with Phillip (Rivers) and I appreciate the opportunity. It says a lot that Phillip has a lot of confidence in me and gives me the ball.”
While there wasn’t a lot to be happy about following the game, Alexander’s performance was certainly a bright spot for the team.
“I’m excited for D.A.,” said head coach Norv Turner. “He’s getting an opportunity. He’s had a lot of hardships and setbacks. Obviously he had the major knee injury coming out of college. He was a highly rated guy. He’s had a little bit of success, and now he’s here and he’s getting an opportunity and making the most of it.”