Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Roberts (19) runs with the ball during the game against the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Chargers signing return specialist Andre Roberts

The Los Angeles Chargers are signing return specialist Andre Roberts, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection was released by the Houston Texans on Monday.

Roberts, 33, played in each of Houston’s first six games, catching one pass for 35 yards, and returning eight punts for 33 yards and 18 kickoffs for 386 yards.

He has gained more than 11,000 all-purpose yards and returned three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns in 169 games with Arizona (2010-12), Washington (2014-15), Detroit (2016), Atlanta (2017), the New York Jets (2018), Buffalo (2019-20) and Houston.

Roberts has 262 career receptions for 3,079 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The Chargers (4-2) entered their bye week ranked last in the NFL with an average of 16.5 yards per kickoff return.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cornerback, Ryan Smith, (29) at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Chargers sign former Bucs CB Ryan Smith

The Los Angeles Chargers are signing cornerback Ryan Smith to a one-year, $1.75 million deal, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

Smith, 27, spent the past five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, registering 117 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception in 73 games (16 starts).

Most of his snaps have been on special teams over the past two seasons.

A fourth-round pick in 2016, Smith played in all 20 regular season and playoff games last season for the Super Bowl LV champions.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Chase Daniel (4) drops back to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Chase Daniel signs one-year deal with Chargers

Quarterback Chase Daniel signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Chargers, giving the team a veteran backup for starter Justin Herbert.

Financial terms were not announced.

Daniel, 34, appeared in four games for the Detroit Lions last season, completing 29 of 43 passes for 264 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Through his career with the New Orleans Saints (2010-12, ’17), Kansas City Chiefs (2013-15), Philadelphia Eagles (2016), Chicago Bears (2018-19) and Lions, Daniel has made just five starts (2-3 record) and completed 178 of 261 passes for 1,694 yards, with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.

He’ll serve as a backup and veteran sounding board for reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Herbert.

Herbert, 23, was the sixth overall pick by the Chargers in 2020 and went 6-9 in his rookie season despite throwing for 4,336 yards with 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. He also scored five times on 55 carries.

–Field Level Media

Sep 27, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll walks the field while wearing a mask prior to the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bills OC Brian Daboll favored for Chargers job

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has the inside track on becoming the next coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, according to ESPN.

Daboll would be replacing Anthony Lynn, who was fired in early January after posting a 33-31 record in four seasons. Lynn led the Chargers to a 7-9 record in 2020 after signing a one-year contract extension.

Daboll, 45, is one of nine candidates interviewed for the opening. He and Chargers general manager Tom Telesco were teammates at St. Francis High School in Buffalo.

If the Chargers intend to hire Daboll, they’ll have to wait for the Bills’ playoff run to end. The Bills host the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night.

Daboll began his NFL coaching career under Bill Belichick in New England in 2000 and has worked as offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs, along with a stint at Alabama in 2017. He was on staff for five Super Bowl titles in New England and a College Football Playoff championship with Alabama.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn talks to the kick off team after the Chargers scored a touchdown in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Lynn says coaching Chargers was a “privilege”

A 33-31 record over four seasons as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers wasn’t enough for Anthony Lynn to keep his job at the conclusion of the 2020 season.

But Lynn expressed no bitterness about his firing in his first public comments Tuesday. Lynn, who coached the Chargers to a 7-9 record this season, released a statement through the team’s official Twitter account.

“For the Spanos family to give me the opportunity to be their head coach these past four years, I just can’t thank them enough,” said part of Lynn’s statement. “It’s been an absolute privilege to represent the Los Angeles Chargers on and off the field, and I am grateful to our staff, coaches, players and everyone in the community who has been supportive throughout my time with the organization.”

Lynn, 52, had his best season with the Chargers in 2018, when Los Angeles went 12-4 and defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC wild card round. But Los Angeles lost the next week to New England, ending the Chargers’ only playoff run of Lynn’s tenure.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) runs with the ball against the Denver Broncos in the third quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs looking to stay healthy vs. Chargers

Apparently subbing for Patrick Mahomes provides a potential shot of youthful exuberance.

With the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs already secured by Kansas City (14-1), the Chiefs will rest their MVP candidate Sunday when they play host to the Los Angeles Chargers (6-9).

Mahomes’ backup, Chad Henne, is no stranger to the NFL. That didn’t prevent Chiefs coach Andy Reid, however, from telling his backup quarterback to go be a kid again.

“I think he’s excited,” Reid said. “I told him, ‘Act like you’re 20, man, and try to remember those days and feel it.’ He’s all in.”

Henne, 35, will start for the first time since the first three games of the 2014 season with Jacksonville. He entered as a reserve in two blowouts this season, completing 5 of 6 passes while rushing for one touchdown after missing all of last season with a fractured ankle.

Not quite the numbers Mahomes has posted leading Kansas City to 10 straight wins as the NFL passing leader with 4,740 yards.

The Chiefs have already established a club-best win total and can set another franchise record with an 11th consecutive win in the same season.

Nonetheless, Reid embraced the opportunity to rest several regulars before the Chiefs observe a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

“It’s crazy to think it’s my first (start) since 2014,” Henne said. “I got all my games in when I was young and then I had like a five- or six-year span where I didn’t get much playing time. I’m excited and excited about the group we’re going to have out there.”

The lineup could lack some firepower the Chiefs typically deploy.

Tyreek Hill (hamstring), Le’Veon Bell (knee), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) and Sammy Watkins (calf) all missed practice Wednesday. Travis Kelce could be another weapon the Chiefs sit since he has already set the NFL season record for receiving yardage (1,416) by a tight end and the franchise record for catches (105).

The Chargers carry a three-game winning streak behind Justin Herbert, who engineered game-winning drives in each of the three wins. The No. 6 overall pick from Oregon owns an NFL rookie record with 28 touchdown passes.

Herbert’s first start came in Week 2 against the Chiefs after a pain-killing injection punctured the lung of Tyrod Taylor. The Chargers, who started 2-7, took the Chiefs into overtime before falling 23-20 as Herbert passed for 311 yards and one touchdown.

“I think I’m a better teammate, son, friend because of all those tough times we had this year,” Herbert said. “I know I learned a lot going forward, I know I’m going to be better prepared for 2021.”

One question is whether he will be joined by fourth-year coach Anthony Lynn, who said he has not been given any indication on his future with Los Angeles.

“I am not concerned about that; I am concerned about Kansas City,” Lynn said.

Defensive end Joey Bosa (concussion), wide receiver Keenan Allen (hamstring) and safety Rayshawn Jenkins (ankle) are questionable for the Chargers.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden looks at quarterback Derek Carr against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders hope D-coordinator change helps vs. Chargers

After seeing his defense gashed for 200 rushing yards in back-to-back games, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is turning to defensive line coach Rod Marinelli for a quick fix.

Make that a very quick fix.

The Raiders (7-6), currently on the outside looking in as the ninth seed in the crowded seven-team AFC playoff race, can ill afford another slip-up heading into Thursday night’s home game with the Los Angeles Chargers (4-9).

The 71-year-old Marinelli replaces Paul Guenther, who was fired as defensive coordinator shortly after Sunday’s 44-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, on an interim basis. He inherits a 30th-ranked defense that is bruised and battered and could be without four key performers when it takes the field against a Chargers team that Las Vegas narrowly defeated in their first meeting on Nov. 8 in Inglewood, Calif., 31-26.

How narrow was it? It initially appeared Los Angeles had won that contest on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Justin Herbert to tight end Donald Parham Jr. on the final play of the game. However, the score was eventually overturned when a replay review showed the ball hit the ground as Parham came down on the sideline chalk before establishing full control.

Safety Johnathan Abram (concussion), cornerback Damon Arnette (concussion), linebacker Nick Morrow (concussion) and defensive end Clelin Ferrell (shoulder) all missed practice for Las Vegas on Tuesday, while defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (calf) was limited. Another starting safety, Jeff Heath, went on injured reserve last week with a concussion. Veteran defensive end Vic Beasley was activated from the practice squad, and defensive end Takk McKinley (groin), who failed a pair of physicals before signing with the Raiders on Nov. 23, was designated for return to try and plug some of the holes on a defense that is yielding 30.1 points per game.

“It’s a great challenge,” Marinelli said Tuesday. “I want to see great energy and talent. And gang-tackling.”

The Chargers are well aware of the Raiders’ coaching change.

“No doubt it could make them more dangerous,” coach Anthony Lynn said. “But I think there’s only so much you can do in a short week.”

Meanwhile, the Raiders’ offense also got bad news when starting wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, hero of the team’s dramatic 31-28 victory over the New York Jets in Week 13, was placed on the COVID-19 list Tuesday afternoon and ruled out for the game. Running back Josh Jacobs, hampered by an ankle injury in recent weeks, also was limited.

The Chargers, a game behind third-place Denver (5-8) in the AFC West, come off a 20-17 victory over Atlanta on Sunday, as Michael Badgley connected on a 43-yard field goal as time expired for the winning points. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert completed 36 of 44 passes for 243 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while producing the first game-winning, fourth-quarter drive of his career.

Three Chargers — offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga (concussion), corner Chris Harris Jr. (foot) and linebacker Denzel Perryman (back) — missed practice because of injury Tuesday, but Herbert, who needs just three more touchdown passes to surpass Baker Mayfield (27 in 2018) for the most ever by a rookie, said he was “feeling pretty good” after getting sacked once and hit three times by the Falcons.

“The offensive line did a great job blocking,” Herbert said. “I didn’t get hit nearly at all. … It’s a quick turnaround. These couple of days are very important in terms of watching films, getting your bodies back — hot tub, ice tub, stretching — so that come Thursday, we’re ready to play.”

The Raiders have won the last three meetings between the teams and lead the all-time series, 65-54-2.

–Field Level Media

Sep 13, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers activate RB Ekeler from injured reserve

The Los Angeles Chargers activated running back Austin Ekeler from injured reserve on Saturday.

The 25-year-old has been out since Week 4 due to hamstring and knee injuries. He has rushed for 248 yards and a touchdown and caught 17 passes for 144 yards in four games this season.

Ekeler has gained 3,439 yards from scrimmage and scored 23 touchdowns in 50 games (15 starts) since signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2017 out of Western State in Colorado. He signed a four-year, $24.5 million extension last March.

The Chargers (3-7) made several other moves ahead of Sunday’s game at the Buffalo Bills (7-3).

Los Angeles waived defensive end Jessie Lemonier and activated three players from the practice squad for Sunday: linebackers B.J. Bello and Cole Christiansen and nose tackle Breiden Fehoko.

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. (26) breaks up a pass intended for Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) in the second quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Lock rallies Broncos over Chargers in final second

Drew Lock passed for 248 yards and three touchdowns, the last one to K.J.Hamler coming as time expired Sunday as the host Denver Broncos rallied to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30.

DaeSean Hamilton had four catches for 82 yards and a touchdown, Albert Okwuegbunam had another TD reception, and Phillip Lindsay ran for 83 yards and a score for Denver (3-4). Lock was 26-for-41 passing, as the Broncos came back from a 24-3 third-quarter deficit.

Justin Herbert finished 29-for-43 passing for 278 yards and three touchdowns for the Chargers (2-5), with Mike Williams catching five passes for 99 yards and a score and Keenan Allen eight receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Justin Jackson rushed for 89 of L.A.’s 210 yards on the ground, Gabe Nabers also had a TD catch, and Michael Badgley kicked three field goals for the Chargers, who held leads of 24-3, 27-17, and 30-24 before Denver’s final drive.

After the Chargers got Badgley’s 33-yard third field goal with 2:30 remaining for the six-point lead, Lock drove Denver 81 yards to win it.

With 7 seconds remaining, and the Broncos at the L.A. 18-yard line, Chargers defensive back Brandon Facyson was called for pass interference in the back of the end zone, giving the Denver the ball at the 1-yard line. That left 1 second on the clock and Lock found Hamler to give the Broncos to victory.

Denver’s comeback started with Lindsay’s 55-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, making it 24-10. Two possessions later Lock found Okwuegbunam in the back of the end zone to get Denver within 24-17 with 11:42 left in the game.

Badgley hit a 47-yard field goal to make it a 10-point game with 8:02 left but just 32 seconds later, Lock connected with Hamilton on a 40-yard TD pass to pull the Broncos within 27-24.

It all was so different in the first half.

The Chargers struck twice in the final two minutes of the second quarter to pull ahead. Allen had a nine-yard TD catch with 1:48 left in the half, and after a Denver three-and-out Herbert hit Nabers for a two-yard touchdown and a 14-3 halftime lead.

Herbert then found Williams down the right sideline for a 24-yard TD and a 21-3 lead and Badgley kicked a 52-yard field goal to make it a 21-point lead midway through the third.

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. (26) breaks up a pass intended for Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) in the second quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Lock rallies Broncos over Chargers as time expires

Drew Lock passed for 248 yards and three touchdowns, the last one to K.J.Hamler as time expired Sunday as the host Denver Broncos rallied to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30.

DaeSean Hamilton had four catches for 82 yards and a touchdown, Albert Okwuegbunam had another TD reception, and Phillip Lindsay ran for 83 yards and a score for Denver (3-4). Lock was 26-for-41 passing as the Broncos came back from a 24-3 third-quarter deficit.

Justin Herbert finished 29-for-43 passing for 278 yards and three touchdowns for the Chargers (2-5), with Mike Williams catching five passes for 99 yards and a score and Keenan Allen nine receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Justin Jackson rushed for 89 of L.A.’s 210 yards on the ground, Gabe Nabers also had a TD catch, and Michael Badgley kicked three field goals for the Chargers, who held leads of 24-3, 27-17 and 30-24 before Denver’s final drive.

After the Chargers got Badgley’s 33-yard third field goal with 2:30 remaining for the six-point lead, Lock drove Denver 81 yards to win it.

With seven seconds remaining and the Broncos at the L.A. 18-yard line, Chargers defensive back Brandon Facyson was called for pass interference in the back of the end zone, giving Denver the ball at the 1-yard line. That left one second on the clock, and Lock found Hamler to give the Broncos to victory.

Denver’s comeback started with Lindsay’s 55-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, making it 24-10. Two possessions later, Lock found Okwuegbunam in the back of the end zone to get Denver within 24-17 with 11:42 left in the game.

Badgley hit a 47-yard field goal to make it a 10-point game with 7:57 left, but just 27 seconds later, Lock connected with Hamilton on a 40-yard TD pass to pull the Broncos to 27-24.

It all was so different in the first half.

The Chargers struck twice in the final two minutes of the second quarter to pull ahead. Allen had a 9-yard TD catch with 1:48 left in the half, and after a Denver three-and-out, Herbert hit Nabers for a 2-yard touchdown and a 14-3 halftime lead.

Herbert then found Williams down the right sideline for a 24-yard TD and a 21-3 lead, and Badgley kicked a 52-yard field goal to make it a 21-point lead midway through the third quarter.

–Field Level Media