SAN DIEGO -- One of the benefits of losing players to injury is teams find out who’s ready to step up and fill the void.
He was targeted a season-high 13 times against the Oakland Raiders last week, finishing with eight catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
In his last five games, Inman has 20 catches for 291 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 14.6 yards per catch.
With Keenan Allen out for the year due to a lacerated kidney, Inman has filled in as a reliable target, showing he’s someone who can regularly shake loose from man coverage for quarterback Philip Rivers.
Inman proved a versatile performer for the Chargers this season. He has receptions lined up on the perimeter and from the slot.
Inman even showed that he can also backpedal, playing two snaps at safety late in the game against the Raiders, with the Chargers down to four healthy defensive backs.
“I’ve always dreamed of it because I played it for so long in high school,” Inman said about playing defense in the NFL. “I think last year we went through the same scenario where it almost happened, and this year it actually happened.”
Inman has played in 13 games with six starts, totaling 32 receptions for 461 yards and three touchdowns on the year.
Here’s a closer look at the snap counts for the Chargers in their loss to the Raiders in Week 16:
OFFENSE (Based on 75 snaps)
Quarterback – Philip Rivers 75.
Offensive analysis – Rivers leads the league with 647 dropbacks from the shotgun. The next closest player is Eli Manning with 533. ... The Chargers have run 683 snaps in three-receiver sets, No. 6 in the NFL. ... Woodhead leads all NFL running backs with 704 receiving yards and is second behind Theo Riddick (76) of the Detroit Lions with 72 receptions. ... Rivers finished 8-of-13 for 64 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions on third down against the Raiders. He was sacked once and posted a 99.5 passer rating on third down. ... Fluker leads the Chargers with 11 accepted penalties, including seven for holding.
DEFENSE (Based on 65 snaps)
Defensive analysis – Perryman finished with a team-high 11 combined tackles, a sack and a tackle for a loss against the Raiders last week. ... San Diego’s 15 takeaways are tied with Detroit for fourth worst in the NFL. ... Nick Dzubnar leads the Chargers with 12 special-teams tackles. ... Quarterback Derek Carr finished 6-of-11 for 83 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions on third down against the Chargers. He was sacked once, posting a 79.0 passer rating on third down.