Chargers’ Michael Davis to show his Mexican heritage in Mexico City game vs. Chiefs
He will proudly carry his Mexican heritage onto the field Monday night.
And that might not be all Michael Davis is carrying while running out of the tunnel at Aztec Stadium. The Chargers cornerback hinted Friday that he also could be holding aloft a Mexican flag.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing there,” Davis said. “Now, I guess it’s a dream come true. It will be quite a ride.”
Unlike his teammates, Davis is intimately familiar with Mexico City, having spent summers and various vacations there growing up.
His mother, Ana Martinez, is Mexican, her parents still living about 45 minutes from the stadium where the Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs will meet.
Davis said he’ll have 15 family members in attendance. With the Chargers’ week off coming next on their schedule, he said he might stay for a few days to visit relatives rather than return to Los Angeles with the rest of the team.
“It’s an honor,” Davis said of the occasion. “It’s an honor to represent Mexico’s culture and represent my family’s name, the Martinez name. I just gotta go out there and ball out, play my hardest.”
The Chargers are practicing in Colorado Springs to become accustomed to high altitude before they play the Chiefs in Mexico City.
He speaks Spanish and displayed the ability during the NFL draft in April. When the time arrived for the Chargers to pick in the fourth round, the television coverage cut to Mexico City, where Davis was standing with his family.
He announced the team’s selection of linebacker Drue Tranquill in Spanish as everyone around him cheered.
“Bienvenido a L.A.,” he said, ending the segment.
As this game has approached, Davis has become an increasingly popular interview subject among media members. He spoke to reporters en masse Friday from behind a podium.
The moment marked a departure for the soft-spoken Davis, who for stretches earlier this season kindly declined several interview requests.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers still is bothered by errant throws in loss to Raiders, three of which ended in enemy hands.
Asked how many people were aware of his background, Davis smiled and said, “Before now? Probably nobody knew. I guess a lot of people now know that I’m half-Mexican.”
On his father’s side, Davis is African American, with some Native American mixed in.
He wears several tattoos honoring his heritage, including an Aztec warrior on his right arm. Beneath that image appears the phrase “Por siempre de la familia Martínez” — Forever a part of the Martínez family.
“I think it’s going to be rowdy,” Davis said of the anticipated atmosphere Monday. “I know Mexicans come out and get rowdy.”
Out of line
Against the Chiefs, the Chargers are preparing to start an offensive line that features tackles with a combined nine NFL starts. All nine belong to Trent Scott, with eight coming this season. Rookie Trey Pipkins is expected to make his first career start Monday, at left tackle.
Regular starters Russell Okung (groin) and Sam Tevi (knee) have been unable to practice this week, the Chargers unsure when either will return.
Injuries along the offensive line forced the Chargers to move players around and allowed the Raiders defense to keep pressure on quarterback Philip Rivers.
Okung was injured early in a loss on Nov. 7 at Oakland. Tevi had surgery to repair his meniscus after being hurt in a Week 9 victory over Green Bay.
Following Okung’s injury, Pipkins played 68 of the Chargers’ 75 offensive snaps against the Raiders.
“I thought he battled his butt off,” offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said. “I thought he did a heck of a job. He’s going to continue to get better.”
The Chiefs are tied for fifth in the league with 30 sacks and have 13 players who have at least one sack this season.
Safety Adrian Phillips practiced for the second consecutive day and remains a possibility to return Monday. He has been on injured reserve since breaking his right arm in Week 2.
“He’s very experienced and always brings a sense of calm as far as trust and knowing where he’s going to be, how he’s going to play things,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “When he’s capable of playing, it’ll be good.”
Some sports gambling tips going into Week 11 of the NFL season.
Rookie safety Roderic Teamer, working his way back from a groin injury that has cost him consecutive games, was a full participant in practice Friday and figures to be available against Kansas City.
With long snapper Cole Mazza still bothered by an illness, the Chargers signed veteran Matt Overton as insurance. Overton has appeared in 100 NFL games in eight seasons.
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