The San Diego Chargers got some much-needed reinforcement to its defensive line Monday by signing a defensive lineman from the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced.
Defensive end Joe Kruger was the seventh-round pick for the Eagles in 2013 out of Utah. He was released by Philadelphia on Saturday.
Since training camp began, the Chargers’ defensive line has ben hit hard by injuries. In Sunday’s exhibition game against the San Francisco 49ers, nose tackle Kwame Geathers suffered a hyperextended left knee and sprain, and defensive end Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe is out for the season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Kruger will be filling Tjong-A-Tjoe’s position. He played in 37 games in college, recording 69 tackles, nine sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles and one interception. Kruger missed all of last season after being placed on the reserve-injured list in late August. He is the younger brother of Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Paul Kruger.
Earlier Monday, the team cut 11 players from its roster. The Chargers will need to cut five more players by Tuesday to comply with league rules.
“We’re trying to find the best 53 players so we’ve got to evaluate everybody, and we’re going to have tough decisions to make,” coach Mike McCoy said. “They’re going to play a lot in a short amount of time come Thursday night. They’ve got to take care of their bodies in a couple days and get back out there and some guys are working extremely hard fighting for a position on this football team.”
Twenty-two more players must cut by Saturday, so Thursday’s game against the Cardinals will be the last chance for players on the bubble to prove their worth.
The preseason home game, however, will be blacked out in Southern California because not enough tickets have been sold. More than 9,000 tickets remained unsold; National Football League’s rules required home games to be blacked out if the games are not sold out 72 hours before kickoff.
The game will be shown taped delay immediately following the game on CBS 8.