Green caught both of his targets for 21 yards in Sunday's 38-28 loss to the Chiefs.
Green was expected to receive the majority of the snaps Week 1 as Antonio Gates continued to work himself into game shape, and while that was technically true the margin was likely less than most would have predicted entering Sunday's contest. Green's 44 snaps were right in line with preseason expectations, but Gates also took part in 33 of the team's 88 snaps, suggesting the Chargers felt more than comfortable with the veteran's conditioning despite missing the entire preseason. Given the tight end's combined to see just five of quarterback Philip Rivers' 51 pass attempts, neither player is much of an attractive fantasy option at this stage of the season. And considering Gates remains one of Rivers favorite targets in the red zone, there's a realistic possibility that Green will struggle to carve out any sort of consistent role on an offense that sees no shortage of playmakers around him.
Head coach Anthony Lynn was reserved earlier in the week when discussing Gates' place in the Los Angeles offense, hinting that the veteran might not even play in the season opener after not having participated in training camp or the preseason. Lynn noted that Gates would see limited snaps, at best, in Week 1, positioning Green to draw the majority of the action at tight end. Because of his aptitude as a blocker, Green could remain a fixture on offense even once Gates gets more practice time under his belt.
Green started at tight end during Saturday's preseason opener against the Cardinals but he was unable to secure the only pass thrown his way.
Green only saw one look Saturday and was unable to secure a hard pass from backup quarterback Cardale Jones on a simple out route. Depth tight ends Braeden Bowman and Sean Culkin also got a few chances in the passing game, but Culkin was the only one to catch a pass and he brought down two of them for 24 yards. Green doesn't seem to be in any danger of losing his No. 1 spot on the depth chart, though, and it's difficult to take too much away from a game in which starting quarterback Philip Rivers didn't play.
With Hunter Henry (knee) out for the season, Green has an opportunity to earn a significant role in the passing game, Jack Wang of The Orange County Register reports.
The Chargers signed Green as a replacement for Antonio Gates, prioritizing blocking over receiving ability for the No. 2 tight end role. The former Bronco is now the favorite for the starting job, though many of the targets that would've gone to Henry figure to be redirected to wide receivers and running backs. Green only had 71 receptions and four touchdowns in 100 games for Denver, but he does own solid career marks for pass-catching efficiency with a 68.9 percent catch rate, 11.4 yards per catch average and 7.8 yards per target. The Chargers may end up re-signing Gates, but the soon-to-be 38-year-old likely would be limited to a part-time role in obvious passing situations. The depth chart behind Green consists solely of young, undrafted players.
Despite being listed as the nominal starting tight end for the Broncos over the past two seasons, Green amassed just 36 catches and 428 receiving yards over that span, acting essentially as a blocking H-back rather than any sort of receiving threat. Still, Green should amount to an immediate upgrade in Los Angeles over Jeff Cumberland, who the Chargers used in a similar role last season to little success. With the future of 37-year-old Antonio Gates still unclear, there's an opportunity for Green to carve out a niche as the No. 2 option behind Hunter Henry, but only if the future Hall of Famer decides not to return for a 16th season with the Chargers.
|3||9/23/18||@ LAR||4:05 pm|
|6||10/14/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|9||11/4/18||@ SEA||4:05 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ OAK||4:05 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|15||12/13/18||@ KC||8:20 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ DEN||4:25 pm|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||2||2||5||76||15.2||25||0||2||0||4|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||2||2||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||2||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|