Chargers vs. Chiefs updates: AFC West matchup at SoFi Stadium

The Chargers host Kansas City Chiefs for the franchise’s first home game at SoFi Stadium at 1:25 pm Sunday on CBS.

A Twitter List by JHWreporter

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‘Hard Knocks’ episode 4 recap: George Stewart inspires Chargers to create change

Chargers special teams coordinator George Stewart shared the wise words “you gotta lose something to get something” during the team’s emotional conversation last week at SoFi Stadium regarding social justice and police brutality.

For episode four of “Hard Knocks: Los Angeles,” the cameras revealed the backstory of how the Chargers decided to cancel their scrimmage and used their NFL Network platform to raise awareness and how to create change.

“We are football players, we’re not politicians, but it’s up to us to speak our damn platforms,” Stewart told his players in the locker room.

Stewart reminded his players he’s 62 and how much racism and police brutality he’s seen since he was a 6-year-old boy growing up in Arkansas.

“I’m tired of it,” he said. “I know what it’s like to be oppressed … What can we do?”

The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks initially forfeited their postseason game last week to demand justice for Jacob Blake, who was shot and paralyzed by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

That led to a domino effect of sporting events being postponed for a few days. The Bucks gave up something to regain the nation’s attention on many social issues like systemic racism.

But coaches were compelled to postpone games and practices because it seemed like the right thing to do instead of understanding why or how to build on the Bucks’ actions.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn is about actions. Initially, he wasn’t going to cancel the scrimmage without a plan on how to create change. He thought handling business on the practice field and then speaking to reporters after about social justice was the best way to raise awareness and spur actions.

Lynn said a head coach called him to say he canceled practice because he didn’t know what to do.

“Get your ass out in the community and go do something with some people who can actually make change,” Lynn said he told the anonymous head coach.

He then reminded his players of all the actions they’ve done away from the field and how to expand on it.

“We’re working with Liberty Hill in L.A. right now to change policies to end systemic racism,” Lynn told his players on Zoom the night before gathering at SoFi Stadium.  “Get your ass out and vote to get the right people in the position that have the same viewpoints that you have. That’s one of the important things you can do.

“Best way to honor Jacob Blake, let’s talk about it to the media after we do our job.”

Lynn changed his mind and canceled practice after the emotional conversation in the locker room.

The players gave up their opportunities to earn playing time and roster spots in a valuable scrimmage to speak about social injustices for 60 minutes on national television. Stewart’s wise words and Lynn’s push for actions resonated with players.

Loved it. My respect for Anthony Lynn & this organization as a whole couldn’t be higher right now.

— Nick Horrigan (@NHorrigan30) September 2, 2020


Nose tackle Breiden Fehoko got Lynn to say the words every undrafted rookie wants to hear.

“He just made the team,” Lynn said after watching Fehoko perform the ceremonial haka dance in front of teammates.

Lynn might have been joking, but he’s also been impressed with his play on the practice field.

Fehoko doesn’t have the ideal height for a defensive tackle — he jokingly blamed that on his mother — but his technique and drive to improve could keep him with the Chargers past Saturday’s cutdown day.

Two-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Linval Joseph told Fehoko to show up on tape. He muttered those words to himself before a practice. He also got the attention of star defensive end Melvin Ingram with his confidence.

Fehoko also won the hearts of viewers with his underdog story. Many are rooting for him to perform more hakas for the Chargers.

Breiden Fehoko is so easy to root for

— ChargersMemes (@ChargersMemes) September 2, 2020


Safety JuJu Hughes was dumbfounded as to why the Rams decided to throw in rookie wide receiver Van Jefferson’s direction while being defended by star cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Ramsey won the round, but Jefferson has made many plays in camp. Perhaps it’s not the best idea to throw in Ramsey’s vicinity, but practice is about improving and the Rams likely wanted to see how good their 2020 second-round pick was.

Speaking of puzzling moves, why was coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead shaking hands with players after cutting them?

That’s like adding insult to injury. It’s 2020, Rams brass. Avoid high fives and handshakes. Shoulder bumps are acceptable, though.

#HardKnocks captures two of the highlights of #Rams training camp: Rookie WR Van Jefferson’s route-running any day. And CB Jalen Ramsey’s one-handed interception and length-of-the-field runback in practice on Aug. 25.

— Kevin Modesti (@KevinModesti) September 2, 2020


Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert was down on himself after a lackluster practice, but he showed growth with an impressive workout the following day.

This year’s No. 6 overall pick has been a mixed bag performance and personality wise.

He’s known for being quiet, but he showed personality when he did the “wassup” from the popular early 2000s Budweiser commercials. Herbert was born in 1998.

Rookie wide receiver K.J. Hill must have been so confused after he heard Herbert say that.

Herbert was also reminded by the Chargers’ defense he wasn’t facing Washington State. A subtle jab for the teams he faced in the Pac-12 while playing for Oregon.

The rookie said he obviously knew he wasn’t facing Washington State and then dropped a few impressive throws on the defense to prove it.

Yup. Will Herbert be able to have the game slow down. Cuz god given talent that boy has it.

— DH (@DH2185) September 2, 2020


Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is in an awkward situation with Herbert because he’ll likely replace him in the future.

Taylor is the current starter and wants to keep it that way for as long as possible, but that didn’t stop him from helping Herbert keep his confidence after throwing an interception.

“Brush it off,” Taylor told Herbert.

Taylor was also the one who gathered the team for the heart-to-heart conversation at SoFi Stadium.

It’s obvious the Chargers respect Taylor and want to hear from him as one of the leaders on the team.

Good leadership by Tyrod Taylor to tell Justin Herbert to “brush it off” after the rookie threw an interception. That’s why Lynn is a fan of Tyrod as a person and player #Chargers #HardKnocks

— Gilbert Manzano (@GManzano24) September 2, 2020



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Newsmakers Series: Join Rams and Chargers beat writers discuss the NFL’s future

Join columnists and beat writers from both Bay Area News Group and Southern California News Group as they discuss the future for the National Football League. This webinar series will highlight the plans of each league for opening, the 2020 seasons at large, and what fans can expect from it.


Thursday, August 6, 10 a.m. in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Host: Todd Harmonson, Executive Editor


SCNG– Kevin Modesti (Rams) and Gilbert Manzano (Chargers)

BANG– Cam Inman (49ers) and Jerry McDonald (Raiders)

JOIN: Sign up for your place in the webinar here

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Chargers trade with Patriots to draft LB Kenneth Murray at No. 23

When Kenneth Murray received a phone call from an Indianapolis number, he had no idea he was headed to Los Angeles.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco was on the other end of that surprising phone call for the former Oklahoma linebacker. That was one of many surprises the Chargers had Thursday for the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Telesco and the Chargers traded up to select Murray with the No. 23 overall pick, the team’s second first-round pick of the night. The Chargers drafted quarterback Justin Herbert with the No. 6 pick. The Chargers sent their second-round pick (37th overall) and a third-rounder (71) to the New England Patriots.

Murray filled a need for the Chargers, who didn’t receive much production from their linebackers in 2019. Murray is a versatile linebacker who played middle linebacker at Oklahoma, but was recruited to play outside linebacker and pass rusher.

“I was completely surprised,” Murray said about the Chargers drafting him. “I met with them at the combine. I put my best foot forward and I felt like we connected well.”

Murray will join a linebacker group that includes last year’s rookie sensation Drue Tranquill, Denzel Perryman, Uchenna Nwosu and Kyzir White.

The Chargers are stacked on defense with players such as former first-round picks Joey Bosa and Derwin James and offseason acquisition Chris Harris Jr., but the team was last in takeaways (14) and 28th in sacks (30) a year ago.

Telesco, who spent many years working in the Indianapolis Colts’ front office, referred to Murray as a violent tackler. That physicality could lead to more takeaways and sacks for the Chargers in 2020.

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Chargers’ Joey Bosa delivers dominant performance then offers teammates a challenge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In most NFL locker rooms, there are a handful of players who speak regardless of the outcome.

Some provide juicy quotes that dominate the headlines. Others speak in cliches and provide optimism for their teammates.

Defensive end Joey Bosa isn’t either of those players for the Chargers. He prefers to do his talking with his play on the field, but he did both Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

He dominated the Titans’ offensive line and sacked quarterback Ryan Tannehill twice. But the Chargers suffered a heart-breaking 23-20 loss at Nissan Stadium to give them a 2-5 record and a three-game losing streak.

Bosa was hesitant to speak after the game, but eventually obliged. As he got going, he spoke truthfully and offered his teammates a challenge.

“I’m going to come to work and (expletive) work Monday,” he said. “So we’ll see who comes with me, but we still have a great opportunity to turn this around.”

Bosa didn’t come off as angry, but more as a player trying to rally his teammates.

Quarterback Philip Rivers said in his post-game interview that the Chargers can either head into a zombie-walking 3-13 season or a competitive 10-6 season with playoff hopes.

Bosa wants his team to be the latter.

“I have one answer,” Bosa said as more reporters gathered around him. “I’m going to come in and I’m going to work my ass off for the rest of the season. I can’t control anybody else. I know we have a lot of guys that want to win, that want to work, and we’ll see who’s with me on Monday. But we can find out who really wants it pretty quick after a game like that, but I’ll be one of them.”

The Chargers needed Bosa’s dominant performance more than other weeks because they were down three starters on the defensive line. Defensive end Melvin Ingram (hamstring) and defensive tackles Justin Jones (shoulder) and Brandon Mebane (knee) were sidelined.

Bosa’s disruption at the line of scrimmage never allowed the Titans to get into a running rhythm. The run-first team likes to punish opponents up the middle with bruising running back Derrick Henry. The Chargers contained the Titans to 97 rushing yards, with 90 coming from Henry on 22 carries.

“This is by far Joey’s best game all year,” pass rusher Uchenna Nwosu said. “Joey has great games every game, but Joey came to play today. We really needed that, especially how depleted we are on the D-line, and Joey being the leader that he is, and the D-line stepped up.”

Bosa didn’t stay at his usual edge spots with his hand on the ground. At one point, he lined up in the middle of the defensive line as a standing pass rusher and got to Tannehill for an 11-yard loss to force a punt in the third quarter.

Bosa’s play inspired Nwosu, who has started during Ingram’s three-game absence. Nwosu’s QB hit on Tannehill led to strong safety Roderic Teamer recording his first career interception in the third quarter.

“I’m feeding off his energy,” Nwosu said. “I’m feeding off his play.”

Lost in the aftermath of the final-minute-replay-review chaos was the Chargers’ defensive stop on fourth and inches to give Rivers a chance to complete the rally with 2:35 left in regulation.

Bosa was the one who stopped Tannehill on the quarterback sneak.

“Joey is a quiet guy, everybody knows that,” Nwosu said. “He’s always quiet, but when he speaks, everybody listens. So anything Joey says, you gotta listen. You gotta take it seriously.”

The defensive line listened to Bosa on Sunday. The star defensive end will find out Monday who’s still with him.


Left guard Forrest Lamp was carted off the field with an ankle injury in the second quarter and didn’t return to the game.

Dan Feeney was moved from center to replace Lamp, and Scott Quessenberry took over for Feeney.

If Lamp’s injury causes him to miss games, Quessenberry will be the Chargers’ third center to start a game. Mike Pouncey suffered a season-ending neck injury against the Denver Broncos in Week 5.


Rivers moved to sixth all-time in career passing yards, leaping his 2004 draft mates Eli Manning (56,537) and Ben Roethlisberger (56,545).

Rivers started the day at 56,441. He finished with 329 passing yards.

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Chargers TE Hunter Henry has career night against Steelers in his return

CARSON — Hunter Henry didn’t want the mystery to end Friday, but he kept dropping hints that he was going to play Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Henry’s poor poker face didn’t leave much mystery. But Henry was right. He was ready to go, like he said two days earlier.

The Chargers’ tight end was ready to go from the outset at Dignity Health Sports Park. Henry started in his first game since suffering a left knee injury in the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

Quarterback Philip Rivers didn’t waste time with getting Henry acclimated. The two connected for a 19-yard catch on the opening play of the game. Henry recorded career highs in targets (9), receptions (8) and yards (100), and grabbed two touchdowns during the Chargers’ 24-17 loss to the Steelers. Henry’s second touchdown cut the Steelers’ lead to seven points with 1:29 left in regulation.

“Going into the game, I wasn’t planning on playing 50, 60 snaps, but kinda how the game rolled,” Henry said. “I was feeling really good. I felt really good tonight … Obviously, sore. Long game and I haven’t played. When you’re running up the field, you’re pretty tired.”

Henry missed the past four games because of the knee injury. He returned to practice this week and was a full participant for Friday’s workout. Henry missed the entire regular season last year because of a torn ACL.

Henry was the lone bright spot for the Chargers’ lackluster offense.

“It’s pretty frustrating, but we have a lot of fight,” Henry said. “Hopefully (the fourth-quarter rally) carries into these next couple weeks.”


Chargers linebackers Kyzir White and Denzel Perryman consoled their teammate Jatavis Brown after the Steelers increased their lead to 21-0 in the second quarter.

Brown was down because he failed to tackle Steelers running back James Conner. Brown wrapped his arms around Conner near the 20-yard line, but Conner broke free and had a clear path to finish a 26-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges.


Forrest Lamp made his long-awaited first career start Sunday night.

Lamp, who was drafted in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft, wasn’t used as an extra blocker or rotated into the offensive line, two roles he had played coming into Week 6. He was on the field as the starting left guard next to center Dan Feeney and left tackle Trent Scott.

Feeney was the starter at left guard, but was moved after the season-ending neck injury to Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey. It was Feeney’s first career start at center.

Lamp and Feeney came into the league together, with Feeney being drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft. Feeney made 32 consecutive starts at offensive guard, while many fans on social media kept asking why Lamp wasn’t on the field.

Part of it was injuries. Lamp missed his rookie season because of a torn ACL and had a second knee injury to derail his sophomore year. A healthy Lamp lost the left guard competition to Feeney in training camp.


Yellow waving towels covered Dignity Health Sports Park throughout the game.

The pro-Steelers crowd chanted “Defense” while Rivers, who plays for the home team, was on the field. Steelers fans could be heard cheering for every flag against the Chargers, who are used to seeing the opposing team fans take over the 27,000-seat stadium.

Last week, the stands were covered with orange in support of the Denver Broncos, who defeated the Chargers.

“No, I can’t say the team is affected by the crowd,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “The crowd doesn’t play. If anything, I thought that crowd brought a lot of energy to the stadium.”


After a hot start to the season, Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen had another quiet outing. Allen was held to two catches for 33 yards. A week earlier, Allen had four catches for 18 yards again the Broncos.

“(Teams are taking) Keenan away by coverage and other guys have to step up,” Lynn said.

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Alexander: Schedule demands don’t faze Lamar Jackson or Ravens

CARSON — Nobody said the NFL was fair. (Although you can interpret that any number of ways.) But when circumstances seem to be slanted against you, talent and will can win the day.

The Baltimore Ravens were dealing with a short week, and they’d traveled across the country to play a Chargers team that had 10 days off. And, well, the game’s No. 1 defense and a young quarterback with fresh legs and no fear turned out to be the antidote.

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Rookie Lamar Jackson passed for 204 yards, ran for 39 and kept the Ravens moving, though touchdowns were elusive for most of the night. Baltimore’s defense limited the Chargers to one touchdown and one field goal — and created the biggest turnover of the night to turn a Chargers drive into a Ravens score.

And the visitors went home happy, if maybe a little bleary-eyed, with a 22-10 victory that kept them in the playoff hunt and all but consigned the Chargers to wild-card status. (The Chiefs could make that official Sunday night against Seattle.)

The Ravens’ ETA in Baltimore Sunday morning is around 7 a.m. EST … but at least they’ll have an extra day to prepare before their own Week 17.

Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner at Louisville, showed some additional dimensions to his game Saturday night. He had rushed for 427 yards in his five starts since taking over for the injured Joe Flacco, but he threw for 204 against the Chargers, though 68 of those came on the pass play to Mark Andrews in the third quarter that answered the Chargers’ only touchdown of the game and put the Ravens ahead to stay.

“I finally had a 200-yard game, huh?” he said afterward. “People thought it was going to be a big test for me and it was going to be difficult, but our offensive line did a great job. If it wasn’t for them, I would have only been 100-and-some yards again.”

His legs were a secondary option Saturday night, though he had 39 yards on 13 carries (Gus Edwards had 14 for 92 yards) and picked up a couple of key first downs with his running.

“I’ve been saying all week, I know what kind of player he is,” said Chargers safety Derwin James, who faced Jackson in college when Louisville played Florida State. “He’s a great player. Everybody saw it today.”

The Ravens team that showed up here Saturday night could be a dangerous postseason foe if it gets there. The Ravens can pound the ball all day with Jackson, Edwards and Kenneth Dixon chewing up yardage, and they have plenty of weapons to bail them out should they ever face, oh, 4th and 29.

(Charger fans of long standing, feel free to wince at that reference.)

Not all of Jackson’s throws were elegant. Some sailed over receivers’ heads, bounced at their feet or whistled several yards to the left or right. But the 68-yard pass play to Mark Andrews for a score early in the third quarter, an emphatic answer right after Melvin Gordon had scored to put the Chargers on top briefly, was a thing of beauty.

“Think of what a challenge it was for Lamar to come out here and win this game,” coach John Harbaugh said. “This is a really good (Chargers) defense. It’s an 11-3 team coming into this game, a team fighting for the division out here, playing a very important game with a lot of rest and a lot of time to prepare for this offense and for him.”

(Um, if you think the Ravens didn’t have that scheduling inequity on their minds, that quote should have just disabused you of that notion.)

“They did a good job defending him,” Harbaugh added. “But he handled himself with great poise … We’re learning it’s not too big for him. He came to the sideline on (one) rollout pass, and the reason he didn’t throw it away was that he was thinking about the clock. That’s a veteran move right there. That’s pretty impressive.

“He’s playing great football his way, his style, and our guys have done a great job adapting. Look at our receivers. Look at the job they’ve done adapting to a different style and how well they’re playing, making plays when they have to make plays.”

Jackson and his progress represent one issue for the Chargers. Another is the way their defense bottled up and frustrated Philip Rivers, who was 23 of 37 for 181 yards, was sacked four times, had two interceptions and finished with a passer rating of 51.7.

“You force him to hold the ball a bit (with coverage), because he doesn’t want to throw an interception there,” Harbaugh said. “Guys are covered so he holds it. That combination is a combination we’re looking for.”

Baltimore also did something it hadn’t done all season. The Ravens were minus-7 in turnover differential in their first 14 games, but besides the two interceptions they forced the most important fumble of the night. Linebacker Patrick Onwuasor poked the ball loose from Antonio Gates after an 11-yard reception, and cornerback Tavon Young scooped it up and returned it 62 yards for an insurance touchdown with 2:40 left in the game.

“That’s huge,” veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “We’re finally cashing in. We had opportunities early in the season to get turnovers and we just didn’t get them. But now it’s more important than ever.”

Baltimore is now 9-6, tied with Tennessee for the second wild-card spot (with Indianapolis at 8-6), and hovering right behind AFC North leader Pittsburgh (8-5-1), which plays at New Orleans today.

And now preparation time won’t be an issue for them.

@Jim_Alexander on Twitter

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Chargers’ Melvin Gordon struggles in return game against Baltimore Ravens

CARSON — Melvin Gordon was treated like a featured back in his return Saturday night against the Baltimore Ravens, but it didn’t translate into a memorable performance.

Gordon, who missed three games with a sprained MCL, was stymied by the Ravens’ vaunted rushing defense during a 22-10 loss at StubHub Center. Gordon recorded 41 yards on 12 carries and ran for a 1-yard touchdown.

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“There’s a reason why they’re the No. 1 defense in the NFL,” Gordon said. “They played us well today. They’re the better team for sure.”

Gordon was the only Charger to get more than one carry. Wide receiver Travis Benjamin was the second-leading rusher for the Chargers with one carry for six yards.

The Chargers combined for 51 rushing yards, a season-low with Gordon in the lineup.

The Chargers recorded 47 yards without Gordon on Oct. 21 against the Tennessee Titans in London.

“They just dominated us the whole game,” Gordon said. “We planned for them. We knew exactly what they were going to do, they were just applying pressure.”

It appeared the running game was ready to take off in the third quarter after Gordon’s score gave the Chargers a 10-6 lead. The rushing touchdown marked the 28th of Gordon’s career, tying Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for the second-most in the NFL since the start of 2016.

Gordon ran three straight times on the touchdown drive, including a 13-yard gain, his longest run of the night. He went into halftime with only 15 rushing yards on five attempts.

Gordon might get a second crack at the Ravens defense if they meet in the wild-card round as the 4 vs. 5 matchup in the AFC playoffs.

“We’ll see them in a couple of weeks,” Gordon said. “Can’t run from it. We made our road.”

Lack of pass protection

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked four times and under pressure often versus the Ravens’ pass rush.

That didn’t sit well with Chargers center Mike Pouncey.

“Philip is a competitor,” Pouncey said. “Today we didn’t play well as a family. Defense outplayed us on a few plays, but we still have a lot to look forward to.”

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said he wasn’t concerned with the pass protection before Saturday night.

The Chargers struggled to contain Ravens linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, who recorded two sacks, eight tackles and the game-saving forced fumble on Antonio Gates that led to a 62-yard touchdown return from Ravens cornerback Tavon Young.

“This whole week we’ve been talking about shutting them out,” Young said. “That’s our goal every week.”

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Chargers’ Mike Williams has breakout game with Keenan Allen out with hip injury

KANSAS CITY — Mike Williams had the breakout game the Chargers have been waiting for since they took him seventh overall in the 2017 draft.

Williams stepped up as the Chargers’ No. 1 wide receiver Thursday night against the Kansas City Chiefs while Keenan Allen was on the sideline with a hip injury. The 6-foot-3 wideout kept the Chargers in the game with seven receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns, and he caught the winning two-point conversion pass from Philip Rivers with four seconds left as the Chargers rallied to stun the Chiefs 29-28.

Williams has been a reliable red-zone target for  Rivers, but he proved Thursday he can do a lot more. Williams had five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in the first half. On the Chargers’ first touchdown drive, he started it with a 38-yard reception and ended it with a 3-yard touchdown catch.

The jump-ball touchdown grab came a play after Allen got hurt attempting to corral a touchdown pass of his own in the left side of the end zone.

Williams also had a 19-yard touchdown run up the right side of the field that cut the Chiefs’ lead to 21-14 with 6:41 in the third quarter. It was Williams’ first career rushing touchdown.

Williams entered the game with 41 receptions for 611 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Clemson product’s big game in prime time was reminiscent of his performance in the national title game against Alabama two years ago.

Allen injures hip

Allen returned for one play in the second quarter, but slowly walked off the field after and returned to the medical tent on the field. He walked to the locker room with the Chargers’ medical staff before halftime. The Chargers listed him as questionable to return.

Allen wasn’t on the field for the start of the third quarter, but he was seen sitting with his teammates on the sideline later in the second half.

The Chargers certainly felt Allen’s absence. He came into the game as the team’s leading receiver with 88 catches for 1074 yards and six touchdowns.

Gordon inactive

Melvin Gordon was ready to go until Chargers coach Anthony Lynn told him no. Gordon was on the field hours before kickoff doing drills, but the Chargers decided to play it safe and had him inactive.

The Chargers’ leading rusher and second-leading receiver missed his third consecutive game because of a sprained MCL sustained Nov. 25 against the Arizona Cardinals. Before his injury, Gordon had rushed for 802 yards and nine touchdowns, and averaged 5.2 yards per carry.

Gordon joined Chargers running back Austin Ekeler on the inactive list. Ekeler was ruled out Wednesday because of a concussion and bruised nerve in his neck.

The Chargers added running back insurance before the game, promoting Troymaine Pope from the practice squad.

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How much will Rams, Chargers season tickets cost in Inglewood’s new stadium?

Los Angeles football fans waited more than 21 years to get the NFL back in town, and a brand new state-of-the-art stadium to go along with it. But it wasn’t without a little bit of trepidation. The concern came in the form of the personal seat license fee season ticket holders were going to have to pay to secure their preferred seats.

Or in the case of the Rams and Chargers, an SSL. Short for stadium seat license.

It’s a one-time fee season ticket holders pay for the right to buy and own a season seat over the lifespan of a new stadium. All revenue generated goes directly toward construction of the stadium, which is being financed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke. Chargers ownership – headed by Dean Spanos – also holds an interest in Stadco, the entity that will own the stadium.

The SSL is a tax, if you will, on hardcore fans to offset the price of erecting a new stadium.

And as we’ve seen across the NFL, the prices can be exorbitant. In Dallas, for instance, the top end of the PSL’s for Jerry’s World was $150,000. That’s on top of the yearly price for the actual ticket.

Los Angeles fans have been bracing for the worst while awaiting the Rams and Chargers seat license pricing plan for the $2.6 billion stadium they’ll eventually share in Inglewood.

They might be in for a pleasant surprise.

Beginning this week, the Rams and Chargers are each making their 13,000 premier club seats situated primarily in the lower bowl of the stadium available to their current season-ticket holders. And with them their SSL pricing. Granted the high point is way up there – $100,000 for the Rams and $75,000 for the Chargers on their 500 exclusive all-access seats. But it’s not Cowboys expensive.

And based on the low point for club seat pricing – $15,000 for the Rams and $10,000 for the Chargers –  one thing is clear: The SSL’s for the vast majority of season seats for both clubs – or roughly 75 percent of the stadium’s 70,0000 capacity – will be under $15,000 dollars.

The Rams and Chargers will announce season ticket and SSL pricing for non club seating at a later date, but based on their premium seat pricing some season tickets could come with an SSL price as little as $500 to $1,000.

“We’ve tried to be very thoughtful about how to price this building,” said Rams Executive Vice President and COO Kevin Demoff. “We understand it’s a uniquely premium and unbelievable experience, but we tried to make sure that it takes into consideration what the commensurate value should be for the fan. We’ve done two years worth of focus groups and surveys and talking to fans and we feel this is a very thoughtfully priced map that provides the appropriate value for each seat.”

Said Chargers President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos: “A lot of thought went into the pricing of these seats. We conducted focus groups and surveys. We spoke to fans one on one. A lot of testing went into this. And it was absolutely done with the fan in mind.”

With one added bonus. Unlike previous PSL programs across the league, the Rams and Chargers SSL plan includes an innovative repayment program. All payments made under the SSL agreement, including any finance charges, will be treated as refundable deposits, with repayment from available funds to be made in 50 years.

In doing so, the fee becomes tax free to the teams. Which means every dollar generated by the SSL program will go directly to stadium cost and every penny will be returned to the buyer.

“I think the most simple way to put it is, if you buy a Rams season-seat licence, you’ll get your money back. And when you buy a Chargers season-seat license, you’ll get your money back,” said Demoff.

Starting this week and continuing over the coming months, Rams and Chargers season ticket members, as well as fans who signed up for the new stadium waitlist, will receive an invitation to make an appointment at the LA Stadium Premiere Center, located in Playa Vista to check out premium seat options.

Among the highlights:

  • 500 all-access seats located on the second level between the 45-yard-lines that include all-inclusive food and beverage, access to two different clubs and the guaranteed right to purchase tickets to nearly every stadium event – including the Super Bowl.
  • 2,500 VIP seats located on the first and second levels between the 30-yard-lines featuring all-inclusive food and beverage access to two different clubs and first priority access to purchase tickets to nearly every stadium event – including the Super Bowl.
  • 10,000 club seats located from the 35-yard-line to the corners featuring access to one club, priority pre-sale to most events at the stadium and the opportunity to purchase premium parking.
  • All 13,000 tickets have a set cost – $375 for the Rams and $350 for the Chargers. The SSL range reflects seat location and access to various premium experiences.
  • The Rams premium-seat SSL pricing is $100,000, $80,000, $35,000, $25,000 and $15,000.
  • The Chargers premium SSL pricing is $75,000, $50,000, $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000.


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