The San Diego Chargers were eliminated from playoff contention as they sat at home and watched the Dolphins dismantle the hapless Jets on Saturday Night Football. As they turn their attention to 2017 and the future, there are some questions the team must answer. Here are the five biggest facing the Chargers headed into next season. Not all is bad, however, as a potential Melvin Gordon replacement was removed from this list thanks to his breakout 2016.
Will they still be the San Diego Chargers?
This is potentially the biggest, as they have the option to join the Rams in Los Angeles next season. The latest indications, bolstered by a resounding “no” vote to fund a stadium in San Diego, are that they will exercise that option. It’s likely that the week seventeen Chiefs-Chargers game is the last one in San Diego for the foreseeable future.
Can they just stay healthy next year?
Injuries are a plague with San Diego, and they have cast a pall over the last two seasons. Whether that’s injury-prone players (like Keenan Allen) or the sins of the strength and conditioning department, they need to take a stark look at their processes to prevent injuries from derailing them for a third consecutive season.
Who will be Philip Rivers’ replacement?
Rivers is one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, and I’m not calling for his head. However, Rivers is 35 years old and is signed through 2019 in what will likely be his final contract. The Chargers need to start looking towards the future of the franchise and maybe get a developmental quarterback late in this year’s draft. With that strength and conditioning team-leading to so many injuries, you may just need him.
Should they extend Tyrell Williams?
Williams has been one of the good surprises this year for San Diego (Melvin Gordon being the other). He is on a cost-controlled contract but is a restricted free agent after next year. Should the Chargers just go ahead and give the man a decent pay-day to lock up his services for several years to come?
Do they bounce back from bad late game luck?
Like the Giants last year, the Chargers this year have been snake-bitten this year with a bevy of late game collapses. Sometimes you can chalk that up to bad luck, but other times its just bad clock management, bad play calling, and bad performance. Mike McCoy has to take a stark look in the mirror. That is if he still has a job.