With wide receiver Stevie Johnson set to undergo surgery on a torn meniscus, the San Diego Chargers tested out three potential replacements Tuesday.
They settled on James Jones jersey.
The Chargers signed the long-time Green Bay Packers jerseys wideout to a one-year deal, the team announced.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier that the Chargers were hosting Jones and former Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline on Tuesday, per sources. In addition, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported former Lions receiver Lance Moore would also work out for the team.
After a one-year sojourn with the Oakland Raiders jerseys in 2014, Jones had an impressive bounce-back year in Green Bay. Donning a hoodie for several of his 15 starts, Jones earned 50 receptions for 890 yards and eight touchdowns, while filling in on an injury-plagued receiving corps. For several stretches Jones was Aaron Rodgers’ go-to target. With Jordy Nelson’s return and a cavalcade of younger targets on the roster, the Packers said so-long to Jones once again.
It’s clear the 32-year-old has lost a step, won’t get much separation from corners and will rely on timing with the quarterback to earn any production in his 10th NFL season. With Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin jersey already slated for starting spots, the Chargers might be comfortable using Jones and wholesale jerseys as a veteran replacement in a limited role in 2016.
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During Thursday’s 21-13 win over the Denver Broncos, Rivers passed Dan Fouts to become the Chargers’ all-time passing yards leader.
Rivers set the record on a 12-yard pass to tight end Hunter Henry early in the second quarter. After the completion, Rivers was 11 of 13 for 131 yards and a touchdown on the game with the Chargers leading, 7-0. Rivers had 43,047 career passing yards upon breaking the mark.
Rivers finished the game completing 18 of 29 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown.
“Philip is the best in the business,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. “He’s been that way for a long time … He’s a special player.”
It wasn’t the first time Rivers set a team record. The five-time Pro Bowler already holds team records for quarterback wins (93), passing completions (3,579) and passing touchdowns (292).
McCoy’s camp would point to the string of injuries to key players such as Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson, Danny Woodhead, Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers.
To be fair, though, the roster has been strong enough to generate leads of a touchdown or more in every game this season.
The breakdown has come in close-and-situations, an area of game management McCoy has struggled to master since taking control in 2013.
“The way they are losing games, I think that’s a reflection on their head coach,” NFL Network analyst Reggie Wayne said on Wednesday’s edition of NFL Total Access. “They need to find a way to finish games … That’s on the head coach. That’s his responsibility of teaching his guys, of preaching to his guys on how to finish, what we need to do to become a finishing team. And they just can’t get that done right now.”
The Chargers have blown leads in the final two minutes of three of their four losses. Luckily for the Chargers and McCoy, another late-game meltdown failed to surface again on national television Thursday night. With the Chargers’ losing streak over, the organization’s braintrust could choose to wait before making any decisions about its head coach.