By Danny Cox
With the San Diego Chargers officially eliminated from the 2012 NFL playoffs, the time has come for players to rest their weary bones, others to get some playing time, and the start of a rebuilding era. Coach Norv Turner will be getting six players back from injury this week, and that’s good considering some of them have missed considerable amounts of time.
The only problem is that he is still frustrated because these last games of the season are essentially meaningless for the Chargers already. They really could have used these players throughout other parts of the season, but injuries just wouldn’t allow that to happen.
The players coming back to practice Wednesday on a limited basis were Ronnie Brown, Eddie Royal, Jeromey Clary, Donald Butler, Demorrio Williams, and Tyronne Green.
“(When) you get guys who haven’t been able to practice in six-to-eight weeks, you feel like you’re starting over right from square one with them,” said head coach Norv Turner. “It’s a frustrating feeling when you’re in Week 15.”
Vincent Brown returns for the first time since August
Another big return to the Chargers was that of wide receiver Vincent Brown. He participated in the individual portion of practice on Wednesday, but that is great news in itself considering he hasn’t done a thing since breaking his ankle the preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 18.
Brown already knows that he won’t be getting into any game because of precautions that still need to be taken into account for his recovery. That didn’t matter to him though because he feels that just getting back onto the field at all is a huge accomplishment and like a new start” for him.
Running back Edwin Baker signed to 54-man roster
With a slew of injuries coming this past weekend, three big names landed on the injured reserve list: Malcolm Floyd, Reggie Wells, and Ryan Mathews. With their arrival on IR, three roster spots opened up, but the Chargers filled two of them on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the third was taken by the signing of running back Edwin Baker.
Baker was San Diego’s seventh-round draft pick this year and has been on the practice squad throughout the season. There is a very good chance that his arrival on the roster won’t be just to sit on the sidelines with Mathews now done for the season.
Rookie Brandon Taylor could see big playing time in final games of regular season
As of right now, it seems like a very good chance that third-round pick Brandon Taylor will start at safety for the Chargers this Sunday. He hasn’t been given the official word on starting just yet, but he has been told to expect a lot of playing team against the New York Jets this weekend.
“I have not been told I’ll be starting, but I’ve been told I’ll get a lot of playing time,” he said. “I’m excited about that. I’ve been practicing hard and I’m looking forward to playing in the game.”
Taylor was inactive for the first 11 games of the season, but was on the active roster for the past three games due to a Atari Bigby landing on IR. The most playing time he’s gotten in his short career came this past Sunday in the loss to the Carolina Panthers, but he’s bound to see a lot more action against the Jets.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.