Philip Rivers' top target out for season
In a season full of upheaval, the San Diego Chargers recently took another blow, as wide receiver Keenan Allen was ruled out for the year with a lacerated kidney. Quarterback Philip Rivers will be without his most-targeted offensive skill player, who was averaging 2.16 yards per route run this season.
Through Week 8, Allen is the seventh-most targeted WR in the league at 25.6 percent, while also playing an astounding 90 percent of San Diego’s offensive snaps. However, looking at his career numbers, they’ve steadily declined since being drafted in 2013 out of Cal. In his rookie year, he averaged 15.3 yards per reception and 5.9 yards after the catch. Even though he’s still the 17th-ranked WR this year with a PFF overall grade of 83.9, both figures have dropped to 10.8 yards per reception and only 3.7 yards after the catch.
Defenses will surely key in on Antonio Gates with Allen out of the lineup, so secondary and tertiary targets like Malcom Floyd and Steve Johnson may see more throws come their way. The next player on the Chargers’ roster with the most targets is neither a receiver, nor a tight end: it’s Danny Woodhead. His 43 targets, 12.5 yards after the catch, and 14 missed tackles forced all rank third among running backs.
Rivers just can’t catch a break this season, whether it be offensive line or skill player injuries. Losing Allen may prove to be the final nail in the coffin for the Chargers’ offense, and with the team planning to file for relocation, it may be a very sad second-half for San Diego fans.