The San Diego Chargers lost their No. 2 receiver, Danario Alexander, to a knee injury last week. Their top target from 2012 might have suffered a similar fate on Monday.
Malcom Floyd had to be carted off the team's practice field with what the Union-Tribune's Michael Gehlken tweeted appeared to be a right knee injury. Tom Krasovic, also of the Union-Tribune, added these details: "Floyd ran a route vs Shareece Wright and crumpled to ground near goal line. McCoy was nearby, immediately yelled for trainer."
Krasovic also relayed that Floyd's Chargers teammates gathered near him in prayer while trainers attended to the 31-year-old receiver. Head coach Mike McCoy told reporters after practice that Floyd was to undergo an MRI to determine the severity of his injury. (Update: Possibly some very good news for the Chargers, as Gehlken reports that "initial MRI results show a sprain", with additional tests to rule out major damage coming on Tuesday.)
Anything significant would be a devastating blow to San Diego, which was just coming to grips with Alexander's ACL injury. Alexander hauled in 37 passes and a team-high seven touchdown receptions last season. Floyd, meanwhile, led San Diego with 56 catches and 814 yards, while stepping up as Philip Rivers's most reliable target.
Deleting both Alexander and Floyd from the lineup would leave the Chargers with a WR corps led by Vincent Brown (who missed all of 2012 with his own injury), Eddie Royal, Robert Meachem and rookie Keenan Allen. Meachem, a complete free-agent bust last season after signing a four-year, $25.9 million contract, might now make the roster by default, just days after it looked as if his San Diego future was very much up in the air.
Allen should continue to climb the depth chart, too. The versatile receiver out of Cal stood to pick up some of the snaps left by Alexander's injury, and now he may find himself a starter alongside Brown.
San Diego almost certainly would have to dip into free agency just to round out its top five at receiver, barring a preseason breakthrough from someone like ex-Seahawk Deon Butler or 2012 practice-squadder Mike Willie. To say the least, the last few days have turned into a nightmare scenario for the Chargers' offense and new coach Mike McCoy. There are high expectations that McCoy can help propel Rivers back to elite QB status, but the mountain may be too high to climb if the Chargers cannot keep their receivers on the field.