A change of holders didn’t solve the ongoing issues for the Chargers’ kicking game.
Caleb Sturgis missed an extra point for the third consecutive week and also a 48-yard field goal.
Punter Donnie Jones, who held for Sturgis when both played for Philadelphia, was signed Tuesday to replace Drew Kaser.
Coach Anthony Lynn made the switch after promising to evaluate the “entire process” of the kicking operation and noted the past chemistry between Sturgis and Jones.
Sturgis made a 49-yard field goal to finish the Chargers’ opening drive Sunday. He then converted consecutive extra points before missing the 48-yarder on the final play of the first half.
“The missed field goal, I thought he hit that pretty solid,” Lynn said. “That was just a miss.”
The failed extra point came in the fourth quarter after a 13-yard touchdown reception by Virgil Green. It was hooked left.
“The extra point kind of bothered me a little bit,” Lynn said. “We’ll figure out what happened there.”
Sturgis, in his sixth season, is eight for 12 on extra points and nine for 12 on field goals.
Lynn, who in the past hasn’t hidden his disappointment in individual performances, was supportive of Sturgis.
“He’s been kicking well all week,” he said. “He’s been kicking with a lot of confidence. So I’m not concerned about it.”
Veteran tackles Russell Okung (groin) and Joe Barksdale (knee) were inactive for Sunday’s game, leaving the Chargers with inexperienced players at two key offensive line positions.
Sam Tevi, a sixth-round pick out of Utah in 2017, made his second career start at left tackle, and Trent Scott, an undrafted rookie out of Grambling State, made his first at right tackle.
The Chargers had little success rushing, accumulating 79 yards on 31 carries, but quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked only once while completing 22 of 27 passes for 339 yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought they did a heck of a job scrapping,” Rivers said of Tevi and Scott. “When you can be efficient, only maybe a couple of sacks, five incompletions, I’d say it’s a win for those two guys.”
Both tackles made mistakes. Tevi was beaten by edge rusher Bruce Irvin, who sacked Rivers for a six-yard loss and forced a punt on the Chargers’ first possession.
Tevi and Scott were both penalized for holding on an eight-play, 96-yard drive that ended with Rivers’ 13-yard touchdown pass to Green early in the fourth quarter.
“I’m getting more reps with [the first team], getting more comfortable with the game plan,” said Scott, who replaced Okung in the second half of a Week 4 win over San Francisco. “I feel like I played pretty well. There are some things in there we can fix, but I think we did a good job.”
Flip of a coin
The Chargers won the toss Sunday and took the ball, a decision influenced by the pro-Oakland crowd at StubHub Center.
“We wanted to take the ball first and strike first and we did,” Lynn said. “Just trying to quiet the crowd a little bit.”
Defensive tackle Corey Liuget made his 2018 debut after sitting out the first four games because of a performance-enhancing drug suspension. He was credited with assists on two tackles.
“I wasn’t so much winded, but my legs were not quite there,” he said. “I was able to play and be a little disruptive and help out.”