Coach Brandon Staley didn’t have an update on wide receiver Keenan Allen’s status when he met with reporters over Zoom on Monday. Allen, who was forced from the Chargers’ victory Sunday over the Las Vegas Raiders because of a hamstring injury, was meeting with medical staffers.
“It’s kind of in-progress as we speak,” Staley said of Allen’s medical evaluation.
If the Chargers learned anything from their 24-19 victory over the Raiders, it’s that they have plenty of options if Allen can’t play Thursday against the Chiefs. Nine different receivers caught passes from quarterback Justin Herbert. Allen had four catches for 66 yards before he was hurt.
DeAndre Carter, who caught three passes for 64 yards and one touchdown against the Raiders, could start in place of Allen if he can’t play against Kansas City. Joshua Palmer, who had three receptions for 5 yards, also could fill in or possibly get the start in place of Allen.
Herbert was unfazed by Allen’s second-half absence against the Raiders, completing 26 of 34 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns overall. He completed TD passes to Carter, fullback Zander Horvath and tight end Gerald Everett – three players making their Chargers debuts.
“You feel pretty fortunate that you have a quarterback who can make those throws,” Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said. “They were fantastic.”
Lombardi said he’s still surprised by Herbert’s ability to connect with his receivers, especially on plays such as a 42-yard completion to Allen in the second quarter and a scramble and throw while moving to his left for an 18-yard scoring play to Everett in the third that gave the Chargers a 24-10 lead.
“Yes, still kind of does,” Lombardi said, chuckling. “It shouldn’t because he does it over and over again. But, yeah, it’s impressive.”
The Chargers’ offense got bogged down in the fourth quarter, the result of some determined defensive play by the Raiders, who attempted to rally from a 24-13 deficit entering the final period. Lombardi also blamed himself for getting “a little bit conservative” in his late-game play-calling.
Las Vegas blanked the Chargers in the fourth quarter and forced three punts. A fourth possession ended in Dustin Hopkins’ missed 49-yard field goal try and a fifth ended with the Chargers running out the clock to end the game. Lombardi said he was initially frustrated and disappointed.
“If we would have completed a couple of those passes and kept those drives going, you would have felt like you did it just right,” he said. “Immediately after the game, I did feel like I got a little conservative and wished I would have made a couple of different calls. But it worked out, thank God.”
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Staley said it was possible cornerback J.C. Jackson would make his Chargers debut Thursday against Kansas City. Jackson, who underwent minor ankle surgery Aug. 23 and sat out Sunday’s game against Las Vegas, is expected to participate with his teammates in Wednesday’s walk-through.
“(Monday) was kind of a recovery day for him because we put him through a pretty extensive workout (Sunday),” Staley said. “We’ll work him out (Tuesday) and then we are going to try and get him on the practice field on Wednesday. He’s in a better spot, I would say, than (Sunday), or the day before.
“I would say he’s 50/50 for the game.”
The Chargers signed defensive lineman Christian Covington, who is in his eighth NFL season, to their active roster. In order to make room for Covington on the roster, Staley said the Chargers hope to sign defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko to their practice squad if he clears waivers.