When the San Diego Chargers took on the New Orleans Saints last week, former Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem went off on his old team with 3 catches for 67 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal wants to do the same thing if he’s able to play against his former team on Monday Night Football. Royal’s name was put on the injury list Thursday with a strained hamstring, and he was limited in practice. On Friday, he was held out of practice.
Royal played for the Broncos for four seasons and had his best year in 2008 when he had 91 receptions for 980 yards and 5 touchdowns.
“They’ve got a big weapon,” Champ Bailey said of Royal. “Third down, special teams, they’re using him to the fullest over there. I wish we could have used him that much. I’m happy for Eddie personally, but we going out there to punish him this week.”
Since becoming a Charger, Royal has 11 catches for 76 yards and one touchdown in five games.
“He’s been nothing but great on the field and in the locker room,” quarterback Philip Rivers said.”"I’ve been so impressed with Eddie and all of our guys, but Eddie’s been awesome in the locker room, and just how unselfish and how sharp and smart he is about the offense, how he picked it up and what a good football feel he has. It’s been good to have him on our side.”
Royal killed the Chargers when he was on the other side, especially on returns, and that’s why the Chargers went after him once he became a free agent. During his rookie year, he had two late touchdowns when the Chargers were in Denver and then he returned a couple of kicks for touchdowns in 2009.
The Chargers know his ability and his potential.
“He’s added another playmaker to our team,” head coach Norv Turner said. “He’s added a guy that can make big plays on offense. We know he’s an outstanding punt returner. He had a big punt return called back in the Raider game. We haven’t had a lot of opportunities to get him loose as a returner, but he missed most of training camp so that put us a little bit behind.”
Royal is averaging just 5.4 yards on 7 returns with a long of 14 yards. If he’s able to play Monday, that hamstring could hamper him even more.