Posts tagged with "Los Angeles Chargers"

Allison Christensen Illustrates a Sports Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Tyrod Taylor

By Justin Lyons

Justin Herbert lined up under center on the first drive Sunday for the Los Angeles Chargers, which was a surprise.

Herbert was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but Tyrod Taylor was supposed to be the starter while Herbert learned from the bench. Herbert had a successful day, scoring on his first drive and going on to throw for 311 yards and a touchdown, but he came up a bit short of the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs in overtime.

It’s now clear why Taylor didn’t play quarterback Sunday. Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn told ESPN’s Shelley Smith that Taylor’s lung was punctured by a team doctor attempting to administer a pain relief injection just before kickoff.

Lynn told Smith that the injury is not career-threatening, and Taylor isn’t mad or upset. Lynn appeared to reaffirm Taylor’s status as a starter when he is cleared to return, saying there was a lot the Chargers didn’t get done with Herbert as their quarterback and that Herbert is a backup “for a reason.”

George Atallah, the assistant executive director of external affairs for the NFL Players Association, tweeted that the union’s medical and legal teams are looking into the incident. He also confirmed that the NFLPA has initiated an investigation.

According to ESPN, the injection is not uncommon, but the doctor is unable to see where the needle is going, which can be difficult. Though the procedure is standard, it is rare that a player’s lung is punctured.

Lynn said Herbert will start Sunday at home against the Carolina Panthers, as Taylor won’t be fully healthy.

“I am looking forward to seeing him play with a week of preparation and knowing he is the starter,” Lynn said.

The Panthers and Chargers will kick off at 1:05 p.m. local time Sunday.

“Hard Knocks: LA” Debuts Season Finale

The season finale of “Hard Knocks: Los Angeles” debuted on HBO on Tuesday, Sept. 8th. The show, which followed the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles throughout preseason, came to an end two days before the beginning of the 2020 NFL season.

At 8:20 p.m. ET tonight, the defending champions the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Field in Kansas City, Missouri. The stands will be operating at 22% capacity.

In a preview for the finale, Tyrod Taylor, the quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers, reflects on preseason uncertainty and his readiness for the regular season during an early morning workout. 

“Hard Knocks: Los Angeles” will have encore plays Wednesday nights and will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #HardKnocks and follow @HardKnocksHBO, @NFLFilms and @RamsNFL & @Chargers for updates.

“Hard Knocks: Los Angeles” is narrated by Liev Schreiber.

Football illustration by Rita Azar

‘Hard Knocks’ – Episodes 1 & 2

HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ is back, which, if you’re an NFL fan, is really exciting. It means that football is close. Fall is coming, training camp is starting and 32 teams will clash over the course of the next five months until only one is left holding the most coveted trophy in the game.

This year, things are looking a little bit different. The three other major sports in the United States had their seasons interrupted or delayed by the pandemic. The NFL finished its season about a month before everything began to close and we stopped gathering, so the league had some time to prepare if the virus was still around come August and September. Well, here we are in the middle of August, less than two weeks away from the opening month of the football season, and the pandemic is still changing the sports world.

This year’s version of ‘Hard Knocks’ is taking advantage of a huge opportunity. In 2015, the NFL had zero teams in Los Angeles. Now, the Rams and the Chargers both call it home. The Rams beat the Chargers there, but they’ll be sharing the brand new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood beginning this upcoming season. If they can share a stadium, why not share a documentary series? Double the teams, double the drama.

Just two episodes in, it’s obvious that this season is different from every other season of ‘Hard Knocks,’ and I don’t just say that because of the pandemic. If you’re a fan of the NFL, there’s so much star power to lay your eyes on this season, and the first episode doesn’t miss a chance to capitalize on that. We’re getting the inside scoop on guys like Aaron Donald, Jared Goff, Jalen Ramsey, Derwin James, Keenan Allen and Joey Bosa, who inked his five-year, $135 million deal right in front of us.

I think we tend to take the contract stuff for granted when it comes to these athletes. I know signing a nine-figure deal is life-altering, but it happens so often with these huge stars that we don’t think twice about it. If we do think twice, we’re either eyeballing the amount, criticizing it for being too high, or raising our eyebrows at the amount knowing the team is walking away with a star player for less than he or she is worth.

Before watching ‘Hard Knocks,’ I saw that Bosa signed the extension, but I didn’t think about the way it changed his life. That’s what I love about this show. These guys are freak athletes, built to withstand one of the most extreme sports for our entertainment, but they’re also humans. Bosa signing that deal is the climax in a long life of hard work and sacrifice, and he’s going to be able to provide for his family for generations if he’s wise with it.

I also love things like the juxtaposition between Sean McVay’s home life and Anthony Lynn’s home life. Lynn, the head coach of the Chargers, barbecues in his backyard and uses a napkin attached to a fork by a rubber band to brush sauce onto his chicken legs. McVay, the head coach of the Rams, cracks open a bottle of rosé with his fiancé at his outdoor glass fireplace overlooking the world.

We get to see Jalen Ramsey, who’s going into his first full season as a Ram, go house hunting. So far we’ve learned a lot about Ramsey as a competitor and a person, both on and off the field. He has been front and center for a couple of my favorite moments so far. First, in a Zoom meeting with reporters, he fields a question about a contract extension, which he doesn’t have yet. While we see many players around the league holding out of football activities for financial security, Ramsey insists that he’s in LA to play football, and his agent and the front office will handle the financials.

The reporters continue to pry, which sets Ramsey off, and he walks out of the interview. He does end up returning, but I get why he’s upset. I also get why the reporters are asking the question, so it’s a two-way street. While we’ve seen players say they have no plans to hold out then proceed to hold out, I still admire Ramsey for that position. It can’t be easy to negotiate million dollar deals and play football under normal conditions let alone the conditions we’re looking at right now.

Then, of course, we see how these two teams are handling the pandemic. Immediately upon arriving for preseason meetings, all of these players get their temperatures taken. They’re asked questions that probably aren’t too different from everyone visiting an office or an on-site job every day. Do you have a fever? Do you have a sore throat? Are you coughing? Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Right in the back of my mind, I remember last season of ‘Hard Knocks’ when the Raiders had hundreds of guys in their meeting rooms. Jon Gruden, the head coach of the Raiders, would tell his team, “Knock on wood if you’re with me,” and the thunderous knocking of over 100 football players hitting their desks poured through the speakers.

These two teams can’t do that in 2020. We see team’s socially distancing and maintaining that six feet of separation everywhere they go. Team employees even use tape measures to make sure that locker hubs are six feet apart, and the teams don’t allow anyone to sit in the first four rows in meeting rooms. Everyone is masked up, including the coaches, and it seems like they’re truly doing their best to avoid the spread of the virus.

Also, as a huge baseball fan, I love that they use the Marlins as an example of how important the safety precautions are. One guy with the virus could cause an outbreak throughout the entire team and put the season on hold. It doesn’t just affect the person with the virus. It affects everyone they’ve already come in contact with and everyone they might come in contact with. One person can derail the entire season, and it’s fascinating to see such a fragile situation in the hands of men whom we normally think of as the strongest and toughest on the planet.

All of the players are also receiving tests on a regular basis. I don’t know what it was, but something about seeing Keenan Allen and Casey Hayward both act so nervous before their tests made me feel a little bit better about my outlook on the tests. To be completely honest, the fear of having the Q-tip shoved into my brain is making me more strict about my pandemic behavior. It feels good to see professional football players who are just as uneasy about the test as I am.

In the second episode, everyone in camp received a wristband, and while they don’t go too deep into how they work, I imagine they keep track of social distance. If they can figure out whose wristband has been fewer than six feet away from someone who tests positive, they might be able to shut it down quickly by quarantining those players.

They also get the option to wear face shields, which could be a very practical solution to the mask debate. In the first episode, Sean McVay makes a big deal about preferring the plastic face shield over the fabric mask, and it looks like the players will wear something really similar inside their helmets. It sounds like a simple solution to a huge problem. Teams can’t send their players onto the field in hazmat suits, but if they can avoid spitting and breathing on each other, I think that’s a huge step in the right direction.

As per usual, we get to watch all of these positional camp battles that we’d never get to be inside the locker room for without ‘Hard Knocks.’ I love that the second episode touches on Austin Ekeler, who is a star because of the preseason. He’s one of the guys who made the most of his opportunities, and now he’s a starter on a team that’s expected to compete. A lot of guys won’t have those preseason games to make an impression this year. They’ll get fewer reps in practice to show off their skillsets. While it’s not impossible to make an impression, it sure is more difficult.

I enjoyed seeing Justin Herbert work on his game. I remember when Kyler Murray first came into the league and had to learn to take snaps as a professional quarterback. He took a lot of heat for things like clapping to call for the snap, but it looks like he’s going to be just fine. I really hope Herbert can overcome that kind of criticism, which he’ll inevitably get. He has the arm talent, but we’ll get to see if he can overcome the transition.

I also loved seeing Anthony Lynn talk to his players about protests during a Zoom meeting, which launched into an entire conversation between coaches and players. Specifically, Lynn said that his main focus is football, but they can’t focus on football when injustices are taking place off the field, so Chargers players are encouraged to protest however they see fit.

The conversation continued in smaller Zoom groups. In one of those groups, Chargers long snapper Cole Mazza mentioned that he had family in the military who are very much against kneeling during the anthem. Chargers coaches and other players explained that the kneeling had nothing to do with the military and everything to do with racial injustice. I think that’s really important to see in a show like ‘Hard Knocks,’ which draws plenty of football fans on both sides of the issue. Those are the conversations that need to be had, and all players and coaches were extremely respectful of each stance.

To be completely transparent, I caught a Chargers game in Carson last season as a fan of an away team. Fans of the team I went to see probably outnumbered Chargers fans ten-to-one, and I’ve respected the Chargers since then. Their fans had good attitudes about the whole situation, and I felt bad for the players on the Chargers who didn’t play a game in front of a home crowd the entire year.

I’m pulling for them to have a better season and build a bigger fan base in their new market, so I’ll be tuning in every week for more ‘Hard Knocks.’ I’d probably be tuning in no matter which team was on the show, as we’ve been deprived of football for seven months, but I’m extra curious this year.

For anyone just as curious as I am, you can see a new episode of ‘Hard Knocks’ Tuesday on HBO at 10 p.m. EST, or you can stream the show on HBO Max. You can also catch the companion podcast on any podcast streaming platform or on YouTube and HBO Max.

NEW ERA CAP: SIDELINE COLLECTION

NEW ERA CAP CELEBRATES THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE’S 100TH SEASON WITH DECADE INSPIRED SIDELINE COLLECTION

The New Era 2019 Official NFL Sideline Collection Brings Back Retro Classic Caps With A Modern Twist

Today, international sports and lifestyle brand, New Era Cap Co., Inc., launches the New Era 2019 Official NFL Sideline Collection, which features the caps the players and coaches will wear both at home and on the road this season. This year’s sideline collection celebrates the NFL’s 100th Season by honoring the decades each NFL franchise was established. The New Era 2019 Official NFL Sideline Collection is available at neweracap.com, as well as major sporting goods and headwear retailers for a retail price ranging from $27.99 – $39.99 USD.

“As the official on-field cap of the NFL, we wanted the New Era 2019 Official NFL Sideline Collection to pay homage to the rich history of the NFL’s 32 franchises,” said Ryan DiNunzio, Director of Football and Soccer at New Era Cap. “We focused on designing classic caps inspired by past decades, while making them relevant for today’s fan and celebrating the monumental NFL 100th Season.”

The New Era 2019 Official NFL Sideline Home Collection features designs dating back to 1919, when the League was first founded. Available in a mix of silhouettes, including the 59FIFTY® fitted, Low-profile 59FIFTY® fitted, 9FIFTY® snapback, 39THIRTY® stretch fit and women’s 9TWENTY®, each team’s design is reflective of the decade it was founded. Each unique cap is inspired by the specific decade the respective NFL franchise joined the League giving fans a retro yet modern look on gameday. While teams on the field will only wear the caps from their established decade, fans have the option of purchasing caps of their favorite team in any decade’s design. All caps in the New Era 2019 Official NFL Sideline Home Collection feature the team’s established year on the right side with thoughtful details that reflect the following decades:

1910’s-1920s: These caps feature a piped crown with a melton wool fabric and team color visor and team patch embroidery. Teams featured in this decade include Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants.

1930s – 1950s: Featuring a dark melton wool with a team logo patch, these caps feature the team’s established year, along with the current logo is displayed on the right side. Teams featured in this decade include Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins.

1960s: These caps combine popular styles from the 60s, like retro script logos and woven rope, with a modern look. The caps from this decade include Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Raiders, Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings.

1960s – 1970s: Screen-printed logos, foam and mesh were popular in this timeframe, so these caps feature screen-printed logos on a foam front and mesh backing. Teams featured in this decade include Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

1990s – 2000s: Caps from these decades include alternate color blocks within each team logo. Franchises featured in these decades include the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Alternatively, the New Era 2019 Official NFL Sideline Road Collection features a clean, minimalist look that boldly displays a team logo on the front of the cap with a silicon patch displaying the established year on the right side. The road caps are available in a mix of silhouettes, including 59FIFTY® fitted, 9FIFTY® snapback, 39THIRTY® stretch fit, Visor and women’s 9TWENTY®.

ABOUT NEW ERA CAP:

New Era Cap Co., Inc. is an international lifestyle brand with an authentic sports heritage that dates back over 90 years. Best known for being the official on-field cap for Major League Baseball and the National Football League, New Era Cap is the brand of choice not only for its headwear collection, but also for its accessories and apparel lines for men, women and youth. The brand is worn as a symbol of self-expression by athletes, artists and some of the most interesting people around the globe. New Era Cap encourages people to truly express their personal style and individuality through its products. The Company is headquartered in Buffalo, NY and operates facilities in Canada, Europe, Brazil, Japan, and Hong Kong. For more information, visitwww.neweracap.com.