The Chargers’ Drew Kaser had punted 141 times in his NFL career without having one blocked.
Then the Rams smothered him on No. 142 Sunday, the result being a touchdown in a 35-23 loss.
A day later, coach Anthony Lynn left no doubt as to where the play broke down.
“We gotta do a better job of executing that with our punter, No. 1,” he said. “You don’t take a three-step approach when you’re backed up like that. One step and get the ball out. The ball should be gone.”
Kaser was standing deep in his own end zone with the snap originating from the four-yard line. By the time his foot hit the ball, the Rams’ Cory Littleton was well in position to make the block.
The Chargers’ wall up front broke down too, but Kaser’s misplay made things worse.
“Protection backed up like that is going to be a little iffy because they’re going to rush and you can’t get depth because you don’t have the depth to give,” Lynn said. “So there was some leakage there coming up the middle. But that ball could have been gone.”
Kaser, a sixth-round pick of the Chargers in 2016, is in his third NFL season. During his career at Texas A&M, he punted 168 times without having one blocked.
The situation Sunday occurred after Derwin James intercepted Jared Goff in the end zone but stepped out of bounds at the one-yard line.
The Chargers then handed off to Melvin Gordon twice for no gain before Philip Rivers, under duress, hit Gordon for a three-yard gain, setting up fourth down.
For the second straight game, the Chargers were called for unsportsmanlike conduct Sunday when rookie linebacker Kyzir White stood over a fallen Robert Woods and taunted him.
“We don’t do that here,” Lynn said. “Kyzir wasn’t even sure that he was wrong in what he did. That’s got to be corrected. We won’t have another one of those, I promise you.”
Against Buffalo on Sept. 16, Desmond King was penalized after making a kicking motion toward the Bills’ Zay Jones following a third-down stop.
Jackson was the team’s seventh-round pick in April and missed most of the preseason because of a hamstring injury.
“We want to see him,” Lynn said. “We didn’t have him for the preseason. I get a chance to look at him now.”
Lynn praised Newsome, who could return to the team on the practice squad.
“Detrez, he did nothing wrong,” Lynn said. “I love what he did in preseason. He made this roster.”
Lynn confirmed that defensive end Joey Bosa (foot) will be out Sunday. He said right tackle Joe Barksdale (knee) “could be back sooner than I thought,” though he offered no timetable for Barksdale’s return.