Rookie Lamp suf­fers a torn knee lig­a­ment

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Dan Woike dan.woike@la­ Twit­ter: @DanWoikeS­ports

Charg­ers guard For­rest Lamp was the player carted off the field Wed­nes­day, but it was line­backer Den­zel Per­ry­man who was winc­ing.

Per­ry­man was do­ing his job, try­ing to shed a block on a run­ning play off the right side of the hash marks. When the whis­tles blew, sig­nal­ing the play was over, he looked back over his shoul­der and saw Lamp, the team’s sec­ond-round pick this year, ly­ing on the grass.

That’s when Per­ry­man winced.

“I just hope it’s some­thing mi­nor,” Per­ry­man said. “I hope he’s able to come back.”

Lamp might be able to come back — it just won’t be dur­ing this sea­son.

The Charg­ers’ string of rot­ten luck trav­eled with them from San Diego, as the team an­nounced Lamp suf­fered a torn lig­a­ment in his right knee. The in­jury typ­i­cally re­quires sea­son-end­ing surgery.

Lamp was in­jured in an 11on-11 pe­riod dur­ing the Charg­ers’ sec­ond prac­tice in full pads. He tried to stand be­fore col­laps­ing to the ground.

“He was play­ing so well,” coach An­thony Lynn said. “He was re­ally com­ing along at that right guard po­si­tion.”

Lamp had been ro­tat­ing in with the start­ing of­fen­sive line, get­ting reps along with Kenny Wig­gins at right guard. Third-round pick Dan Feeney now could see more time at right guard. Most of Feeney’s reps have come at cen­ter.

Pro­jected by some to be a first-round se­lec­tion out of Western Ken­tucky, Lamp fell to the Charg­ers at No. 38 over­all. Lamp and Feeney were pegged as key pieces to the Charg­ers’ re­built of­fen­sive line that had three starters from last year’s team re­leased.

Be­fore Lamp made it onto the cart, veteran Rus­sell Okung and Per­ry­man went to check on him.

Per­ry­man said Lamp told him he was “good,” but that one’s mind quickly flashes to more se­ri­ous sce­nar­ios. In this case, those thoughts came to fruition.

“First year, you go down like that, that’s the first thing,” Per­ry­man said on what crosses your mind. “You don’t want to get in­jured. But at the same time, it’s foot­ball.”

And in­juries are a part of foot­ball — some­thing of which the Charg­ers are keenly aware.

Last sea­son, re­ceiver Keenan Allen, run­ning backs Danny Wood­head and Bran­den Oliver, cor­ner­back Ja­son Ver­rett, de­fen­sive tackle Bran­don Me­bane and line­backer Manti Te’o had their sea­sons cut short be­cause of in­juries. And although Ver­rett is ex­pected back from knee surgery, per­haps as soon as this week­end, the Charg­ers have ruled out first-round pick Mike Wil­liams for all of train­ing camp be­cause of a lower­back in­jury.

Lynn said he had hoped for good news with the in­jury, but los­ing Lamp for any ex­tended pe­riod of time is a blow. In ad­di­tion to the im­me­di­ate ef­fect on the team, Lamp won’t be gain­ing valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence on the field dur­ing his rookie sea­son.

“We’ll be OK and we have depth, but For­rest was re­ally play­ing well,” Lynn said.

Talk­ing gets louder

While the de­fen­sive backs and re­ceivers have been go­ing back and forth in drills since camp opened, the com­pet­i­tive­ness — and chat­ter — es­ca­lated dur­ing seven-on­seven drills.

Pro Bowl cor­ner­back Casey Hay­ward, un­sur­pris­ingly, was in the mid­dle of it.

“I was mic’d up to­day,” he said, jok­ingly.

Be­fore go­ing to seven-on­seven drills, Philip Rivers hit Travis Ben­jamin with a per­fectly thrown pass lead­ing to a huge gain.

And in seven on seven, Rivers hit Allen, who con­tin­ued his strong play in camp, for a touch­down.

Af­ter the touch­down, Rivers and the of­fense chirped back at Hay­ward and the se­condary. The talk­ing con­tin­ued through­out prac­tice between the of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive units.

“We were out here com­pet­ing to­day,” Per­ry­man said. Etc.

Near the end of prac­tice, Rivers found sec­ond-year tight end Hunter Henry for a red-zone touch­down. Henry caught 36 passes for eight touch­downs last sea­son and should be a big­ger part of the of­fense this year. “He’s a star in the mak­ing,” Lynn said. “He’s done a re­ally good job from day one.” … Rookie Des­mond King show­cased the ball skills that helped him get picked in the fifth round, win­ning a cou­ple of one-onone bat­tles with re­ceivers by de­flect­ing passes. … Cor­ner­back Trovon Reed in­ter­cepted a pass by Rivers in 11on-11 drills. … Cor­ner­back Craig Mager, who had been work­ing with the start­ing de­fense, was play­ing with the sec­ond unit for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day.

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