Chargers sign Baber

The bye week is a time of rest and relaxation, but if you are the San Diego Chargers it is just another chance to retool and look to get better, particularly at tight end where Justin Peelle's injury could affect the depth. They countered by signing Billy Baber to a one year deal.

An ankle injury to Justin Peelle has forced the Chargers into looking for some depth at the position. The team has been contemplating minor surgery for their best blocking tight end and it could force him to miss some time.

In lieu of the news, three tight ends were brought in for tryouts with the club.

Billy Baber, out of Virginia, made an appearance at Murphy Canyon this week. Baber had been a member of the Kansas City Chiefs but was released in late August while he was out with a knee injury. The Chiefs feared it would be season ending when it occurred in early August. The injury occurred during a non-contact scrimmage with the Vikings. Baber got sandwiched between two defenders with one hitting him high and the other hitting him low. He cried out in agony and it was originally diagnosed as an MLC injury.

He caught three passes in two years for the Chiefs after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 draft. Baber, 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, had 18 receptions for 226 yards in his final year with Virginia but was known for his play on special teams with the Chiefs. He played on every special teams unit and there was talk of getting him in the KC offense in three tight end sets this year.

Baber replaces fullback Andrew Pinnock on the Chargers' roster. Pinnock was suspended for four games by the NFL on Tuesday for violating the NFL's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.

The other two who made an appearance were Sean Brewer and Jabari Holloway.

Brewer, a Parisi speed school graduate, was taken in the third round of the 2001 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. The former San Jose State star held the distinction as having the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.73) among tight ends at the 2001 Scouting Combine. Brewer suffered a groin pull in 2001 training camp and was placed on injured reserve. In 2002, he played in three games with two starts, missing 13 games because of multiple knee injuries requiring surgery. He finished the season with one special teams tackle.

He moved on to Atlanta where they used him on special teams and as an extra blocker around the goalline before signing on with Washington in July of 2004 and was released two weeks later.

Holloway, formerly of Notre Dame, was a fourth round pick in the 2001 draft by the New England Patriots. In August of 2002, the Houston Texans claimed Holloway after being waived by the Patriots. He spent time on the Texans practice squad before being elevated to the active roster. In 26 games, Holloway had 15 catches, four of which went for touchdowns.

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