Anthony Lynn and the Los Angeles Chargers have some things to play for during their last five games, but the postseason isn't one of them.
Lynn publicly acknowledged Wednesday what many already knew — it would take a miracle for his team to make the postseason even if the Chargers win their remaining games to finish 8-8.
“I will always want to show them the big picture every once in a while,” Lynn said. “The playoff hunt is probably not going to happen at this point, as best we can do. And I don’t think that’s going to be good enough. But we play for each other and we play for the love of game.”
The Chargers go into Sunday's game against New England four games behind Miami and Indianapolis for the final AFC spots.
Quarterback Justin Herbert still has some rookie records he is chasing but said his biggest motivation is trying to play for his teammates.
“We’re all expecting that from each other. And so at the end of the day, it’s just us in this locker room and looking toward the guy next to you and beside you, give everything you’ve got for him,” he said.
Usually when teams are out of the playoff hunt, they use that opportunity to evaluate younger players while trying to assess the roster going into the offseason. However, since the Chargers were racked by injuries this season, Lynn said they have had the chance to play and evaluate more of the roster compared to normal years.
Lynn and his coaching staff may be fighting for their futures as well. Los Angeles will host Atlanta on Dec. 13 before closing the season with three straight division games — at Las Vegas (Dec. 17), hosting Denver (Dec. 27) and then at Kansas City (Jan. 3). The Chargers are in danger of losing double-digit games in two straight seasons for the first time since 2016.
The Chargers will once again be dealing with their share of injuries this week. The defensive line remains shorthanded with defensive end Melvin Ingram out for the season due to a knee injury and Uchenna Nwosu still nursing a shoulder injury suffered against the New York Jets on Nov. 22. Linebacker Kyzir White — who leads the team in tackles — remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list.