A busy Friday got even busier for the Chargers with the announcement that they have signed running back Jackie Battle.
The team signed defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin and released Kris Dielman from the reserve/retired list in addition to the Battle move. Battle visited with the Chargers back in March and was talked about as a veteran backfield option several times since that visit, although the chances of his joining the team seemed to disappear when Ronnie Brown joined the team.
That’s obviously not the case and both veterans could wind up making the team. Battle has played enough special teams in his career to carve out a niche there even if he’s the third-string tailback. Other options for that job — Curtis Brinkley, Edwin Baker and Michael Hayes — don’t have Battle’s track record and the Chargers probably wouldn’t be looking in Battle’s direction if they thought they had better options in house.
Battle ran for 597 yards in Kansas City last year, seeing his first regular time in the offense as a result of Jamaal Charles’ knee injury. His style doesn’t lend itself to more than a short yardage role, but that and his special teams experience could be enough to keep Battle in San Diego this season.