Give the Chargers credit for playing it very smart this training camp.
So many teams complain how they get beaten up in camp with only 80 players on the roster.
The Chargers have alleviated this by holding guys out of practice and/or games at the first sight that something might be wrong.
Consider the list held out of last Saturday’s 7-6 exhibition loss at St. Louis:
Offense: QB Philip Rivers; RBs LaDainian Tomlinson and Andrew Pinnock; OL Marcus McNeill and Nick Hardwick; TE Antonio Gates; and WRs Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson.
Defense: DL Luis Castillo and Jamal Williams; LB Shawne Merriman; and DBs Quentin Jammer and Antonio Cromartie.
With even half of these players active, the Chargers certainly would have whipped an inferior St. Louis team. But what’s the point in an exhibition game?
The Chargers appear to be saving guys so that they may have a better chance of being healthy at the end. If they are to make a Super Bowl run, this definitely will be a major issue (remember the injuries that hampered the team in last season’s AFC Championship loss to New England?)
If there is a downside, it may be that players are not as far along when the regular season starts.
But the bigger issue is who will be ahead when the season concludes.