Following the Chargers’ 27-21 loss to the Jets, during which wide receiver Plaxico Burress scored three touchdown passes, the coaching staff inserted 2011 second-round cornerback Marcus Gilchrist into the starting lineup in place of Antoine Cason.
Gilchrist has struggled the last two weeks and, after being replaced by Cason late in Sunday’s 45-38 loss to the Green Bay Packers, may be headed back to a third cornerback role, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
“I’m not going to answer about anything permanent right now,” head coach Norv Turner said. “This group throws a lot of guys at you, a lot of different combinations, and we were going to play everybody. Obviously, Marcus was having a tough time, and we put Cason in.”
Over the first six weeks of the season, the Chargers allowed just 175.7 passing yards per game. That number has risen to 254 yards the last two weeks. Gilchrist, who has 14 tackles and one pass defensed since entering the starting lineup in Week 7, has been targeted by opposing quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Aaron Rodgers the last two weeks.
There’s little doubt that Gilchrist has the talent to start in the NFL, but right now, he may be best-served by returning to a nickel role. The Chargers won’t have much time to make a decision, as they return to work immediately to prepare for Thursday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders.