Chargers' Staley: Johnston's role will expand after Williams' injury
The Los Angeles Chargers are going to give first-round rookie wide receiver Quentin Johnston more opportunities after the team lost Mike Williams to an ACL tear this week.
"We believe in the ability of (Johnston) and we believe in the makeup of this guy," head coach Brandon Staley said Monday, according to NFL.com's Grant Gordon. "Now, he is going to get a bigger opportunity."
The Bolts selected Johnston with the 21st pick in April's draft after he tallied 60 receptions, 1,069 yards, and six touchdowns in his final college campaign with TCU.
"We drafted Quentin with the belief in the player," said Staley. "All he needs to continue to do is ... make progress on the field. Over time, he's going to make more and more plays for us."
Johnston has posted just five receptions for 26 yards on eight targets through three games. He has been on the field for just 22% of the offensive snaps while playing behind Williams, top wideout Keenan Allen, and Josh Palmer to begin the year.
The 22-year-old could also see extra targets if running back Austin Ekeler misses more time with the ankle injury that sidelined him for the team's 28-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
"We have a lot of good options on our team - obviously, Quentin, being the first guy that is going to emerge in a bigger role. ... Everyone is going to have to elevate their game, and it's not just the receiving group, it's going to be that tight end group and running back group, as well," Staley said.
Los Angeles will host the 1-2 Las Vegas Raiders in Week 4. The Raiders' defense is allowing 25.7 points and 347.7 yards per game to start the season.