Los Angeles Chargers Wide Reciever Jalen Guyton may play in his first football game in over 13 months against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. Guyton went down last season in Week 3 after tearing his ACL and only returned as a participant in practice heading into the Cowboys game. He was a full participant in Thursday’s and Friday’s practices last week and started this week as a full participant as well.
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Jalen Guyton started the season on the PUP list. As the rules of the Physically Unable to Perform list state, after a player returns to practice, the team has three weeks to decide to place him on the active roster or on the injured reserve list or cut the player. By all indications, Guyton will be added to the active roster this week. And it couldn’t come at a better time.
Outside of Keenan Allen, the Chargers receiver corp has been injury-prone or has struggled to make an impact. Mike Williams has been on the IR since Week 3 and the team’s second-leading receiver, Josh Palmer, will likely miss some time with a knee injury of his own. Rookie addition, Quentin Johnston, has yet to have a statement game and fellow rookie, Darius Davis, has been essentially non-existent.
What Jalen Guyton brings to the Chargers Offense
In his last two full seasons, 2020-2021, Jalen Guyton was an explosive deep threat that always had the chance to haul in a long bomb. He has had receptions of 72, 70, 59, 53, 49, and 44 in those seasons and collectively his average depth of target was 16.4 and 11 yards in those years respectively.
This puts him in the Diet Mike Williams category, a position Josh Palmer has been in this season with Williams missing time. With both Williams and Palmer out, Guyton becomes a viable option for the offense to stretch the field, maintaining the Chargers ability to create explosive plays.
When missing this amount of time, there is always the concern of rust. Jalen Guyton will also be covered, at times, by the best young cornerback in the game, Sauce Gardner. For the rest of his snaps he will face off against D.J. Reed, who is having the best year of his career. So he will have his work cut out for him. Guyton has also struggled with drops during his career, dropping almost 1 pass for every 10 targets that come his way.