If there was one undrafted free agent this offseason fans thought faced the steepest odds of making the Chargers, odds are Kenneth Farrow was high on the list.
All it took was a look at the depth chart ahead of him – Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver and Dreamius Smith. Yet through his play and work ethic, Farrow defied each obstacle he faced, stepping in when called upon to ascend to the Bolts' top backup running back.
One run in particular last week showcases the Farrow's determination and grit, as he lost his helmet but kept powering along at full speed even though the officials whistled the play dead.
"We were way to close to the end zone to stop right there," he explained. "Unfortunately, it was called dead when my helmet came off."
Now, Farrow faces the opportunity of a lifetime against the Oakland Raiders.
The rookie out of Houston is in line for his first NFL start with Gordon unlikely to play due to hip and knee injuries sustained last week in Carolina. Farrow stepped up admirably against the Panthers, totaling over half of his season touches to date when thrust into the lead role.
While he wishes this opportunity didn't come at the expense of Gordon's health, he knows he must make the most of this chance to prove himself.
"It's pretty crazy. Not a lot of people probably would have guessed I'd be in this position, but my biggest thing is you just go and work every day. You work hard (then) good things happen. That's all I can do. Just keep working."
Even so, an additional work load doesn't change to how he'll prepare.
"It doesn't change (my outlook). I learned pretty early how Mel, Danny and Branden prepare every week. So I tried to keep that at a steady pace throughout the season. I'll go into this week like I have the last 13 weeks. Hopefully Mel can get back. If not, I'll be ready for the opportunity… I've prepared as a starter every week. I was comfortable going into the game last week because I prepared the same. I'll approach this week like I've been approaching every week."
Farrow has toted the rock 36 times this season for 135 yards as well as seven receptions for 27. Twenty-two of those touches came in Carolina when he carried the ball 16 times for 55 yards along with six catches for 23.
"You saw him take 55 snaps," Philip Rivers said. "He did a nice job. He stepped in and ran hard like you saw all preseason. When he's (been) mixed in here all season, when he's been sprinkled in there, he does a nice job. He's earned a spot on the team obviously. He's been preparing and been ready every week. Obviously you hate to see a guy like Melvin go down, but Kenny will step in there and be ready to go if he's called upon to have the same role as last week."
That doesn't mean Farrow was satisfied with his performance, noting he needs to take another step up against the Raiders.
"There were some mistakes I definitely have to clean up. Some technique stuff. There was some good and some bad. I took a long look at that, got out (at practice) and tried to fix those as best I could going forward."