San Diego Chargers running backs combined to catch 123 passes last season. Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert were responsible for 104 of those receptions. Those stats aren't lost on head coach Norv Turner. With Tolbert now in Carolina, he's looking for someone to pick up the slack on those short, underneath routes, and he thinks Eddie Royal can be his guy.
"A year ago our tailbacks combined to catch over 100 balls," Turner told SI.com. "As much as we push the ball up the field, I'd like to think that Eddie Royal will get a lot of those catches because he becomes an option underneath. We haven't had that guy, and Eddie's really been impressive as the guy who runs the option routes, runs the seams, runs the post -- some higher percentage stuff."
Royal is still just 26 years old, and he would fit that role perfectly. The problems are that he hasn't done much since registering 91 catches as a rookie in 2008, and there are a lot of targets vying for Philip Rivers' attention in San Diego. He will behind Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd, Robert Meachem, Mathews and maybe Vincent Brown in the pecking order. His ceiling is a WR3 in a PPR league.