Chargers claim Ronnie Hillman

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Running back Ronnie Hillman is back in the AFC West, but he’s not back with the Broncos.

Hillman was waived by the Vikings on Monday and became the newest member of the Chargers on Tuesday. The team announced that they made a successful claim on Hillman and waived wide receiver Griff Whalen to make room for him on the roster.

Hillman played his college ball at San Diego State and he faced the Chargers twice a year while he was with the Broncos from 2012-2015, so he’s familiar with both the city and the team. Hillman ran 18 times for 50 yards and caught four passes while playing in five games with the Vikings.

The Chargers had only Kenneth Farrow on the roster as a backup to Melvin Gordon and Hillman gives them a more experienced option for times when they want to give their bell cow a rest over the final six weeks of the season. Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver were lost for the season with injuries, leaving the Chargers without such an option until this point.

Whalen’s departure may signal that Travis Benjamin is ready to return from the knee injury that kept him out in Week 10, which was the last time the Chargers played thanks to a bye last week.