WR Travis Benjamin - San Diego Chargers
|5-10, 172||Born: 12-29-1989||College: Miami (FL)||Drafted: Round 4|
News you need to know
General News (Wed Feb 1): underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week to repair a Grade 2 posterior cruciate ligament sprain. Benjamin had been dealing with the sprain for several weeks. A timetable for his recovery was not disclosed.
Week 21: bye week
Recent Game Summaries
2016 Week 16 vs CLE (4 / 3 / 75 / 0 rec)
Benjamin has had a very quiet campaign, considering what the Chargers expected from him when they brought him in from Cleveland. He did manage to connect on a long reception in this game, beating Joe Haden for a long 50-yard reception. It actually should have gone for a touchdown because he beat his man by a good 4-5 yards, but the Rivers pass hung up quite a bit and Benjamin had to wait for it to come down. After the long catch, he added a short curl (beating his man with a spin to pick up another 7 yards or so), and a key third down conversion where he went in motion and caught it in the flat to pick up a nice gain up the left sideline. But after halftime, Benjamin essentially wasn't heard from again.
2016 Week 15 vs OAK (3 / 2 / 56 / 1 rec)
Benjamin has been extremely underwhelming in his first year in San Diego. But he flashed some of that big play ability he was brought in for when he hooked up with Philip Rivers on a 47-yard bomb for an early touchdown. Benjamin was so wide open that he actually had a little bit of time to slow down and wait for the ball to come to him, and then STILL had enough time to outrun the defender the rest of the way. It showed just how badly he had beaten his man on the play. He only caught one pass aside from that, a crossing route where he beat his man to the edge to pick up a first down. With Tyrell Williams being placed in the concussion protocol after the game, Benjamin may be in line for a bigger workload in next week's game.
2016 Week 14 vs CAR (3 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec, 1 / -2 / 0 rush)
Benjamin has really struggled to maintain any semblance of momentum or rhythm since his injury several weeks ago. He didn't even register an official reception in this game, either. He finally saw a target late in the first half on a crossing route, but the ball was thrown well behind him. It was a pass he could have caught, but it's tough to know who to put more of the blame on. It was that kind of a day for the entire San Diego offense. They tried using him on an end-around in the second half, but that didn't go anywhere either as he was unable to turn the corner. Finally, he did see a deep ball target late in the game in triple coverage. But that one had no real chance of being completed either.
2016 Week 13 vs TB (4 / 2 / 24 / 0 rec)
Benjamin looked pretty good on his two receptions, one of which went for a nice gain up the left sideline to bail out Philip Rivers who was under heavy duress. But it was the ball he did NOT bring in that was much more impactful. He had beaten his man deep downfield and should have easily caught the bomb from Philip Rivers, but he let the ball bounce off his fingertips. The ball was thrown right where it had to be and could have gone for a 79-yard score if he had been able to haul it in. Even if he didn't score, it was an easy 40-yard catch on the spot, with a lot of room to run afterwards.
2016 Week 12 vs HOU (2 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Benjamin returned from injury, but was way down the pecking order in terms of being a focal point of the offense. Everything ran through Tyrell Williams, and even the one deep shot the Chargers connected on went to Dontrelle Inman rather than Benjamin. They did target Benjamin down the field once, but the coverage was good and it never really had a chance. The one catch he did have was a designed screen early on. His acceleration looked pretty good from a standstill to top speed, but he was caught from behind by a defender who had a full head of steam behind him.
2016 Week 9 vs TEN (1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Benjamin wasn't even a lock to play in this game, and it showed. He had one catch early for a minimal gain, and the majority of the passing game ran through Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman, and Antonio Gates the rest of the way after that as Benjamin was gone from the offense.
2016 Week 8 vs DEN (9 / 3 / 44 / 1 rec)
Benjamin was having a pretty quiet game, not doing much of note through the first 2+ quarters. He had a couple of short catches, and one long target down the seam that was well overthrown as well as well-covered, but nothing really memorable. But with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Benjamin turned in one of the most spectacular touchdown grabs of the 2016 season. The ball was thrown a bit behind him, so he leapt and contorted his body to deflect the pass with his outstretched arm. As his body twisted to the ground, he somehow managed to knock it off his hand and then shoulder pad before corralling it against his body. Just as incredibly, he somehow got both feet down inbounds and maintained possession as he fell to the ground for the score. It will surely show up on many highlight reels.
2016 Week 7 vs ATL (5 / 4 / 54 / 0 rec)
Despite seemingly ceding the top receiving option mantle to Tyrell Williams, Benjamin has continued to produce as a solid second option in the team's passing game. At times, Benjamin seems like the fastest guy on the field and no defender is capable of staying with him. Rather than attacking teams down the field with this straight line speed, the Chargers have opted to utilize him on a multitude of crossing routes. On nearly all of his receptions, there were defenders trailing in his wake. He was only targeted once in the end zone, as Rivers attempted to squeeze a pass in there with multiple defenders surrounding him. His speed enabled him to get a finger on the pass, but nothing more. The Charger coaches tried a bit of trickery early in the first half, when Benjamin took an end-around and dropped back to pass. He had loads of time, and double clutched before eventually firing a bullet pass to the sideline for Tyrell Williams. It was initially ruled a catch, but replays showed that Williams clearly had one foot out of bounds when he caught it.
2016 Week 6 vs DEN (5 / 3 / 17 / 0 rec)
Benjamin was almost invisible for stretches of the game, though if it hadn't been for a pass interference against him he might have salvaged his fantasy performance for his owners. He had a handful of short receptions early on, and came close to bringing in a tough target deep down the left sideline that featured some excellent defense. But it was the play late in the game when he beat Aqib Talib for a deep stop and go double move on a third down and long. As he ran by Talib, the star cornerback reached out and grabbed Benjamin so that he couldn't complete the pass. It was an obvious penalty and did produce a first down, but if Benjamin hadn't been grabbed and instead managed to make the catch, it likely would have gone for a long touchdown. The major blemish on Benjamin's night was late in the first half when he waved everyone away from a punt return. He failed to take his own advice, however, as he got too close to the ball and allowed it to bounce off of his leg for a muff/Broncos recovery. That led to a field goal, and Dexter McCluster replaced Benjamin on the ensuing punt return.
2016 Week 5 vs OAK (11 / 7 / 117 / 0 rec)
Benjamin teamed up with Tyrell Williams in this game as sort of a tag-team duo to pick apart the Oakland secondary all afternoon. He started off the game with a beautiful catch and run up the right sideline, showing an incredible speed burst that nobody was able to cut off despite multiple players seemingly having the angle on him. He was targeted on another deep ball down the seam and had a chance to bring it in actually, but the defense was very tight and it may have been deflected just before the ball reached his hands. Opening the second half, he was again targeted down the seam with multiple defenders in the area. This one bounced off his hands at the last moment too, again with defenders all over the area. He showed incredible speed though because watching live, it didn't seem like he had a chance to run it down at all. He added a catch late in the game on a little bit of a trick play where Melvin Gordon flipped it back to Rivers, who was going to go deep down the field. But he checked it down to Benjamin, who had come all the way across the field to pick up 23 yards. Clearly, the Chargers made a concerted effort to connect on some deep attempts in this game, which bodes well for Benjamin's playing style moving forward.
2016 Week 4 vs NO (7 / 4 / 48 / 0 rec)
Some observers felt that the injury to Keenan Allen would open up Benjamin as the team's go-to wide receiver, but that hasn't quite materialized. His targets are there, but they are kind of infrequent thus far. He had a nice 25-yard catch up the right side after crossing the middle as his defender trailed him horribly. His speed allows him to get by the defense, but there aren't many other known weapons in the passing game to take a lot of pressure off of him. He was a big deep threat with the Browns a year ago, but hasn't seen a lot of deep looks to this point. On one such pass in this game, Rivers tried to hit him with a deep bomb down the right sideline, but the coverage was very tight and there wasn't much chance of completing the pass. Late in the fourth quarter with the Chargers just trying to run out the clock, Benjamin made a short catch over the middle. He tried to turn upfield and simply dropped the ball untouched for a fumble, which was recovered by the Saints. It was the Chargers' second straight fumble in as many plays, and helped contribute to yet another fourth quarter collapse and loss - the third time they've lost a game this season that they led at the 2:00 mark of the fourth quarter.
2016 Week 3 vs IND (7 / 4 / 82 / 0 rec)
With the Week 1 injury to Keenan Allen, Benjamin was in line to see some more work. With the Week 2 injury to Danny Woodhead and Antonio Gates missing from the Week 3 lineup, Benjamin stood to gain a lot as really the only experienced receiver in the San Diego stable. Instead of a big game, however, he didn't see his first reception until about three minutes remained in the first half. They had tried to get him the ball earlier on a fade pattern in the end zone, but offensive holding would have negated it even if he had managed to bring in the pass. In the second half, Benjamin dropped a would-be first down on a pass that should have gone for an easy first down. He got past the defender, but was unable to look the ball all the way in as it went almost directly over his head. Soon after, he muffed a punt return that nearly cost them the game on the spot. A 43-yard bomb reception down the sideline to set up a first and goal salvaged his fantasy afternoon, but there was a lot more negative than positive (including fellow wide receiver Tyrell Williams out-targeting him 9-7). Lastly, Benjamin allowed a huge third down pass bounce off his fingertips on a crossing route late in the contest. He'll need to play with a bit more consistency and urgency if he wants to hold off Williams as the team's de facto number one option in the passing game.
2016 Week 2 vs JAX (6 / 6 / 115 / 2 rec, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
Benjamin took the torch as the Chargers key passing target after Allen and Woodhead were lost. He was used as both a deep threat (where he torched the Jags), an intermediate threat (where he torched the Jags), and as a player the Chargers designed space for in the red zone, resulting in a TD. The Chargers utilization of him in so many ways, and his perfect execution in these roles, should make many optimistic for his future.
2016 Week 1 vs KC (8 / 7 / 32 / 0 rec)
Benjamin looks to absorb some of the targets left with the Allen injury and brought in 7 catches for 32 yards on the day. Benjamin possesses breakaway speed, but was used mainly in short and quick hit plays this afternoon. Benjamin led the team in targets with 8 and will need to step up for the Chargers going forward.
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