Training camp is right around the corner, and as always, there are several key storylines to keep an eye on at this point in the offseason.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll highlight some of the more noteworthy ones set to play out at Jack Hammett Sports Complex as well as during the preseason.
What's Forrest Lamp's Role?
Perhaps no single Chargers player will have more eyes on him at training camp than Forrest Lamp.
A highly touted guard considered the top player at his position in the 2017 NFL Draft, Lamp has yet to establish himself in the league. He suffered a season-ending ACL injury mere days into his first training camp, and it’s been an upward battle for the former second-round pick ever since.
However, now more than ever, Lamp is primed to change all that.
While he returned toward the end of last year’s training camp, the truth is he was behind the eight ball after missing an entire season. Lamp actually hadn’t played in a real game since 2016 until he appeared in the Bolts’ preseason finale against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Chargers wisely took things slow with Lamp in an effort to get him fully up to speed. However, with the Bolts’ five-man O-Line playing so well, there was no reason to break up the chemistry. Thus, Lamp spent the vast majority of the year inactive, biding his time patiently even though it crushed him to watch from the sideline.
So, what will Lamp’s role be in 2019?
That will be obviously determined based on how he fares at training camp and the preseason. However, as Offensive Line Coach Pat Meyer explained a few months back, he’ll be given every opportunity to start.
“He’ll get reps with the ones,” Meyer told reporters. “We’ll split reps with the ones, split reps with the twos. I’ll flip him (to the) right (and) left side. We’ll compete there, and if things work out like I think they will, I think he’ll be fine being inside.”
Meyer’s not the only one prepared to be peppered with questions about Lamp throughout training camp. Even though he’s barely seen the field over his first two seasons, General Manager Tom Telesco, Head Coach Anthony Lynn and the rest of the team’s decision makers field perhaps more questions about the guard than any player on the roster.
That was once again the case in Telesco’s offseason mailbag, when several questions came in about Lamp’s progress. In what will be music to fans’ ears, the general manager offered encouraging comments about the 6-4, 310-pound guard.
“It wouldn’t be a mailbag without a Forrest Lamp question, right?” Telesco remarked. “You will be happy to know that he has looked great in the offseason program. I am very pleased with where he is right now. And he handled last year like a pro because I know it was not easy on him. He wants to play and contribute. We will see how things play out in training camp, but I suspect you will be seeing a lot more of Forrest. There’s going to be a spirited competition in camp, and it will make our OL better as a whole.”
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