Here's a breakdown of the news from the Chargers' 14th week of the season:
Monday: Nwosu's playing the best football of his career
On Monday, head coach Brandon Staley, OLB Uchenna Nwosu and LB Drue Tranquill talked about their 41-22 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Nwosu had another standout performance against the Bengals by sacking quarterback Joe Burrow two times, one of which was a strip-sack that he recovered. Nwosu talked about what has contributed to his performance and how his talks with Staley before the season have led to what Nwosu said is the best season of his NFL career.
"That Baltimore week, going into the bye week, is really when I figured out, 'Hey, I can do this,'" Nwosu said. "I've settled in a little bit more, wasn't really trying to push everything ...Once I settled in, [I] knew what I was capable of doing and trusting my path, my coaching, and my practice habits, it just all fell into place. It's all starting to come to fruition. I'm starting to trust the process a lot more now, getting into a rhythm. Hopefully, we can keep this thing going."
Wednesday: Injuries complicate QB situation for New York
On Wednesday, Justin Herbert was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his Week 13 performance against the Bengals. Herbert threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns in the 41-22 win, marking his third straight 300-plus yard performance.
Earlier in the week, Chargers center Corey Linsley was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his involvement in community efforts both with the Chargers and on his own. Specifically, Linsley and his wife, Anna, work with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and have been involved with CASA since their time in Green Bay. That has since carried over to Los Angeles County where 33,000 children are currently in the foster care system. Linsley talked about what it means for him to give back and be nominated for the prestigious award.
"It's obviously an honor," Linsley said. "The biggest thing is the publicity that goes to CASA and the awareness [that's generated]. Maybe people that haven't heard of CASA before or maybe don't know about it are now interested — whether it's because they want to become advocates or they want to donate and make a financial impact. That's the most important thing about it. My wife and I have been involved with CASA for a number of years now and my wife does a great job with it."
The Giants took a unique travel approach this week as head coach Joe Judge decided to fly the team from Miami to Tucson, Arizona and set up the team's facilities on the University of Arizona campus. Head coach Brandon Staley and safety Derwin James Jr. talked about the Giants' unique situation at quarterback ahead of Week 14.
With Daniel Jones still not cleared for contact after suffering a neck injury and backup quarterback Mike Glennon in concussion protocol, the Giants may have to go with Jake Fromm, who was signed to their roster on Dec. 1 from the Buffalo Bills practice squad. Despite the 4-8 record, Staley talked about the plethora of top offensive weapons the Giants have on their roster including, Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard.
"When I look at this team, they have a lot of weapons, a lot of legit NFL weapons," Staley said. "That's not even talking about [Giants WR] John Ross [III], who runs 4.2 [40-yard-dash]. They have a ton of players. If you take a look at their schedule and you look deeper into the film, you're seeing a team that's not coaching conjecture or anything like that. This team has real weapons."
Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. were added to COVID/Res. list after being deemed close contacts of wide receiver Keenan Allen who tested positive earlier in the week. Staley explained that there is still a possibility they could play on Sunday against the Giants, but at the moment they are day-to-day.
Thursday: Adderley playing with more confidence in year four
On Thursday, James Jr. was nominated for the 2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.
With the Giants defense ahead on the schedule led by DL Leonard Williams, DB Logan Ryan and CB James Bradberry, Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi talked about what stands out to him the most from their defensive group.
"Man, they're strong inside," Lombardi said. "Like strong up the middle. Their defensive linemen are heavy, violent and hard to move. Their safeties are really good. I've had some experience with [Giants CB James] Bradberry. I know that he's a real solid guy. [Giants CB] Logan Ryan, I don't know what his health statuses. I know that he was on the injury report, but he's very good. A little bit like the Patriots, there's just all these different numbers you see rolling in -- who's the nickel going to be, who's the dime going to be?"
Defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill talked about the growing confidence that fourth year safety Nasir Adderley is playing with this season.
"Nas is probably the best player that I have seen in the meeting room," Hill said. "As far as asking questions and making sure that he gets it. He takes great notes. I wish that I could show you his iPad. He's a guy who wants to know all those little details because he knows that it's going to help his game. I made a few challenges this week because he does play with his hair on fire out there."
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has 15 touchdowns on the year, seven of which have been receiving. Ekeler is just two touchdown catches away from tying the record for most touchdown catches in a single season by a running back in the common draft era. Ekeler talked about what he brings to the table as a complete running back.
"I think that's why I'm so valuable to the team;" Ekeler said. "I can catch the ball, too. I can make plays out in space, catching the ball or running the ball. This year, I'm getting a lot more red zone touches than I was in the past. Kudos to the guys up front for making most of my touchdown runs pretty easy, as far as anything I had to do."
Friday: Updates on wideout group and Joseph
On Friday, Staley informed the media that Allen will likely be out against the Giants due to COVID, but was optimistic that Williams and Harris will be cleared to play against New York. Staley talked about the team's identity heading into Week 14 and how he's preparing the Bolts to hit an 'extra gear.'
"There's that extra gear that I think we can get to in all three phases as a team," Staley said. "That's what we're shooting for. I think that's what's exciting about our team right now. We've continued to put in really good weeks of preparation. That's how we're going to end up playing our best at the end."
Staley said that defensive lineman Linval Joseph is ‘trending positive,’ had a good week of practice and likely will return after missing the past three games due to a shoulder injury and COVID. Fellow defensive lineman Justin Jones should be good to go as well according to Staley after being listed as questionable for Sunday's game.
Herbert talked about what he’s seen from the Giants on film and how wideouts like Jalen Guyton and Joshua Palmer will need to step up if Allen is unable to play. Herbert talked about the focus the Bolts have in order to win back-to-back games like they were able to do in the beginning of the season.
"A big sense of urgency," Herbert said. "That's one of those things that you have to address. We're thankful that we did. This entire week of practice, we have to be sharp on our preparation, we have to be laser-focused and dialed in. We feel like it's been a good week of practice for us so far. It's going to require all three phases to be locked in for all four quarters of the game. That's what is going to give us a shot to be able to play on Sunday."
Later in the day it was reported that Glennon was no longer in concussion protocol after logging a full practice on Friday, clearing him to play on Sunday. The Chargers look to get their eighth win of the season as the return home to SoFi Stadium for a 1:05 p.m. kickoff.
Videos of the Week
This week also brought a collection of videos to Chargers fans, take a look at the top videos released throughout the week.
Corey Linsley Names 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year Nominee:
Center Corey Linsley has been selected as the Chargers' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, presented by Nationwide, which recognizes a player's excellence both on the field and in the community. Corey has spent much of his NFL career serving with CASA, a national association that provides court-appointed special advocates for children in Child Protective Services.
My Cause My Cleats: Justin Herbert
Quarterback Justin Herbert surprises students at 74th Street Elementary with the news that they will be featured on his cleats in partnership with Nike in the Chargers Week 14 game vs the Giants.
Running for History: Episode 6 | A Championship Moment
On the sixth and final episode of Running for History powered by Lazy Dog, it's time for the record breaking Week 14 game against the Denver Broncos. Tomlinson's three touchdown performance that day put him into the record books for the most scores in a season in NFL history. Running for History is a six-part narrative podcast chronicling LT's historic 2006 season with the Chargers.
Featuring: LaDainian Tomlinson, Shawne Merriman, Nick Hardwick, Domonique Foxworth and more!
Mic'd Up: Drue Tranquil vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill wired for sound during the Los Angeles Chargers Week 13 matchup vs. Cincinnati Bengals. Presented by Hyundai.
Takeout with Justin Jones:
Defensive tackle Justin Jones sits down for a candlelit dinner with quarterback Chase Daniel to rate the best bromance on the team and share his unique draft day story on episode 3 of Takeout, presented by the Southern California BMW Centers.
Pass The Sticks: Breiden Fehoko vs. Ryan Hunter in Halo Infinite
Breiden Fehoko and Ryan Hunter face off in the brand new Halo Infinite by 343 Industries in this episode of Pass the Sticks powered by Toyota.
Tweets of the Week
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