Why Floyd Matters To The Chargers

Jun 07, 2014 5:00 AM EST

One of the more pleasant stories to come out this offseason for the San Diego Chargers was the announcement of WR Malcom Floyd being cleared for light workouts, with the hope for him to play at some point in 2014. It’s a small step, but a necessary one for him to continue his career.

He missed most of last season after suffering a horrific neck injury in Philadelphia on Sept. 15. The over-the-middle combination hit from Eagles S Nate Allen and LB DeMeco Ryans left the raucous Eagles fans silent, as Floyd lay motionless and eventually had to be carted off the field. But through his tireless rehab, he has found a renewed love for his sport.

“I eventually got over the hump,” Floyd told ESPN.com after participating in the Chargers’ first organized team activity on May 27. "And I knew this day was coming.”

Doctors haven’t given an official timetable for Floyd’s return to the field, so it may be a while before we see him in uniform. Right now, he cannot think about starting, but instead he can help to provide a path to success. If Floyd can play, he will be the perfect complement to Keenan Allen in the starting lineup.

His experience as a former No. 1 receiver will help take some pressure off sophomore WR Allen, plus Floyd provides another deep threat in the passing game. Let’s not forget that Eddie Royal caught a career-high eight touchdown passes while battling a toe injury all last season. Combine those three wideouts with TEs Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green, and QB Philip Rivers will have plenty of receiving options to choose from this fall.

“It’s exciting,” Rivers told ESPN.com. “This is a guy I’ve been with since day one here. You know Malcom didn’t want to end his career this way. It was such a fluke kind of deal. I know he feels good. He feels strong. He feels confident and looks great. We all expect him to be the Malcom we've always known.”

It’s fitting that Floyd will get the opportunity to finish his NFL career with one team. Charger fans love how he goes all out on every passing attempt that comes his way in order to make an amazing catch. His critics feel he's too injury-prone with various leg ailments that will keep him out of the lineup for an extended period of time. His absence takes a roster spot away from a talented, young wide receiver that could make a significant contribution to the offense.

It’s a tough decision for any athlete to continue his career after suffering a debilitating injury. First and foremost, he must consider maintaining good health for the remainder of his life. Unfortunately for them, athletes like leaving their sport on their own terms.

Floyd needed to ask himself if continuing to play football was worth the risk, and his answer has helped him to believe that he can make an impact for the Chargers in 2014.

M-80 is back to work!