Technically, the Chargers’ move to Los Angeles actually returns them to their birthplace. Way back in 1960 they were a charter member of the old American Football League as the Los Angeles Chargers and played one season at the Coliseum.
So when they officially open camp Sunday in Costa Mesa, they’ll actually be completing a homecoming more than half a century in the making, rather than starting their new life as the Los Angeles (again) Chargers.
The reality is, they are planting foot into uncharted territory after spending 56 years in San Diego. And as the Rams proved last year in going 4-12 after returning to Los Angeles from St. Louis, there’s no guarantee the foot they set down won’t be swallowed up by quicksand.
That said, it’s imperative the Chargers separate the personal and professional distractions of relocating from the immediate focus at hand: Getting ready for the upcoming season.
And here are five things we need to see during training camp to protect them from falling into the same trap the Rams did in their first season in Los Angeles.
RECEIVERS NEED TO STAY HEALTHY
The news last week that first-round pick Mike Williams might need season-ending back surgery sent Chargers fans screaming: “It’s happening again.” The Chargers have been snakebit with injuries to their best wide receiver the last two years. A lacerated kidney cut short Keenan Allen’s 2015 season at the midway point and a torn ACL in the opening game brought his 2016 season to an abrupt end. That makes three straight seasons Allen hasn’t been able to cross the 16-game finish line.
By all accounts, Allen is 100 percent entering camp. But his knee will be heavily scrutinized over the next month and the Chargers will keep their fingers crossed he’ll reach the regular season ready to roll.
Which brings us to Williams, the seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft and a player the Chargers envision operating alongside Allen in a powerful tandem. But that hope suffered a…