Anthony Lynn fears missing out on the next Austin Ekeler

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The Chargers are set to put on pads for practice for the first time since the end of the 2019 season and the late start to that phase of their work has head coach Anthony Lynn reminding himself to stay “patient” with his players.

Lynn told Albert Breer of that he wants the team to ramp things up at a steady pace and “be careful not to peak too soon” now that they are finally on the field. Lynn also said that these practices will focus more on the starters than in past years because of the need to get them ready to play.

One of those starters is running back Austin Ekeler and watching the former undrafted free agent will be a reminder that the shift in focus means fewer chances for unheralded players to catch the eye of coaches.

“No doubt,” Lynn said. “That’s crossed my mind the whole time. And the thing that scares me to death is missing out on a guy like Austin Ekeler or [cornerback] Michael Davis, those undrafted free agents that are major contributors for us right now. It happens every year all over the league, undrafted free agents winning jobs. Some of them become Hall of Famers. You fear missing out on someone like that under these circumstances.”

A return to normalcy in the future should bring increased opportunities for players to surprise coaches, but the 2020 season may come down to who does the best job with the people they already know.