Steady and reliable are two words that come to mind when describing wide receiver Dontrelle Inman.
A former import from the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, Inman started all 16 games for the first time in his career in 2016 and he finished the year as the Chargers’ second-leading receiver.
In three seasons with the Chargers, Inman’s stats have gone up exponentially each year. From 2014- 16, Inman’s catch total went from 12 to 35 to 58; his receiving yardage total went from 158 to 486 to 810, and his touchdown total went from 0 to 3 to 4.
Inman has enjoyed some memorable moments with the Chargers. He caught his first NFL touchdown pass in historic Lambeau Field. He was on the receiving end of the pass that put Philip Rivers over 40,000 yards for his career. And during a 2015 game in Oakland, the wide receiver had to play free safety in overtime after injuries had decimated the Bolts’ secondary.
Inman originally came to the NFL in 2011. He signed with Jacksonville, but due to the NFL Lockout, there was no offseason program, and Inman went to training camp far behind the team’s veterans. After being released, he caught on with the Argonauts, where he played two seasons (2012-13) and won a Grey Cup championship in 2012. In Toronto, Inman was coached by former NFL quarterback Scott Milanovich, who was a good friend of former Chargers Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich. Looking to return to the NFL, Milanovich gave Reich a glowing recommendation and Inman joined the Chargers in 2014.
Inman earned a spot on the 2014 opening day roster after a preseason that included a 100-yard game against Dallas, highlighted by a 70-yard overthe-shoulder touchdown catch. Once the regular season rolled around, however, his playing time was sporadic. Then during a late December game in San Francisco with the team’s postseason hopes on the line, Inman was inserted into the lineup early in the second half of a game the Chargers trailed by 21 points. He made a fingertip catch on the first ball thrown his way and finished the night with seven catches for 79 yards. It included a 17-yard catch on a fourth-down play late in the fourth quarter that was part of a game-tying touchdown drive. The Chargers rallied to defeat the 49ers in overtime, 38-35, matching the greatest comeback in franchise history
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Signed with Jacksonville, July 28, 2011...waived Sept. 3...signed with Chargers, Feb. 3, 2014...re-signed March 12, 2016.
2016: Team Captain Oct. 2 vs. New Orleans and logged first NFL 100-yard game with 120 yards and touchdown on seven catches...57-yard touchdown catch vs. Saints was longest scoring catch of career and tied game, 14-14 in second quarter... also caught 17-yarder on 3rd-and-9 on play right before TD catch...later in game, went over 100 yards on 22-yard catch on 3rd-and-4 that helped sustain TD drive for 31-21 lead...Oct. 30 at Denver, 15-yard catch on 3rd-and-12 followed by 37-yarder on 98-yard TD drive to bring Bolts within 17-13... drew three key penalties during scoring drives Nov. 13 vs. Miami...late in first quarter on field goal drive, drew pass interference and additional facemask penalty on 3rd-and-13...during third-quarter TD drive, drew pass interference in end zone for first down at one on drive that ended with Philip Rivers’ 300th-career TD pass for 17-14 lead...late in fourth quarter, drew hold on 3rd-and-8 during TD drive for 24-21 edge...52-yard TD catch among 119-yard day, second-highest of season and career, in 21-13 win at Houston Nov. 27...TD tied game 7-7 in second quarter...later in game on TD drive for 21-10 lead, caught 11-yarder on 3rd-and-10 to help Bolts overcome 1st-and-20 and then followed that catch with 25 yarder to Texans’ 25, while also drawing personal foul penalty...35-yard TD catch on game’s opening drive Dec. 4 vs. Tampa Bay...19- yard touchdown catch Dec. 11 at Carolina to mark third straight game with TD.
2015: Took over at wide receiver for injured Malcom Floyd Oct. 4 vs. Cleveland and racked up season-high 88 yards on three catches...included season-long 68-yard catch-and-run to Browns’ one on 3rd-and-5 play that set up touchdown for 27-19 lead in eventual 30-27 victory...first NFL touchdown catch, floating one-yarder on 4th-and-goal on final play of first half Oct. 18 at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field...two-yard touchdown catch on 3rd-and-goal for Bolts’ first points of game in 31-25 win at Jacksonville Nov. 29...during second-quarter touchdown drive that gave Bolts 14-9 lead, had 17-yard catch on 3rd-and-4 followed by 23-yard catch that put Philip Rivers over 40,000 yards for his career...suffered neck injury at end of 15-yard catch on 3rd-and-14 play early Dec. 6 vs. Denver and did not return...inactive Dec. 13 at Kansas City...three catches for 78 yards (26.0 avg.), all on scoring drives, Dec. 20 vs. Miami...seven-yard touchdown reception among season-high eight catches for 82 yards Dec. 24 at Oakland...in overtime, pressed into duty as free safety after injuries left Chargers without enough defensive backs.
2014: NFL debut Sept. 14 vs. Seattle...helped Chargers to 38-35 overtime win vs. San Francisco in Dec. 20 nationally-televised night game at Levi’s Stadium...inserted into lineup in third quarter and responded with seven catches and 79 yards on nine targets...17-yard 4th-and-10 catch with 54 seconds left during late fourth-quarter game-tying touchdown drive...paced team with five catches, good for 79 yards, Dec. 28 at Kansas City.
CFL: Fifty catches for 803 yards (16.1 avg.) and five touchdowns for Grey Cup champions as rookie in 2012...50 catches for 739 yards and six TDs in 2013.
COLLEGE: As senior, posted second-best receiving game in school history with 239 yards against Duke...played in 45 career games, totaling 78 catches for 1,098 yards and three touchdowns...played at Virginia from 2007-10...digital art major.
PERSONAL: Born in Charleston, South Carolina...honorable mention all-state and AA Player of Year by The State newspaper as junior at Batesburg-Leesville (S.C.) High School.