Chargers are hoping to get more from Keenan Allen against the Cardinals

The first pass went to Keenan Allen for 17 yards and the third pass first was converted by Mike Williams with a 15-yard catch.

The Chargers welcomed their two biggest wide receivers last weekend against Kansas City and – even if only briefly – the offense looked strong again as they scored four of their five possessions in the first half.

“Kenan and Mike make what they make for a reason, right?” said Corey Linsley Center. “They make $20 million or something [per season] Because they do not believe. They are the difference makers. Then, being the difference-makers, they open up the whole offense.”

Exacerbating a high sprained ankle on his only reception, Williams quickly ended his night against the Chiefs. He’s missed the past two days of practice, which casts doubt on his availability on Sunday when the Chargers play in Arizona.

Allen, who struggled with a hamstring problem in the season opener, finished with five catches for 94 yards, and “definitely exceeded my expectations,” performance coach Brandon Staley said.

As they prepare to face the Cardinals, the Chargers can take credit for the fact that Allen appeared healthy and that his projects would be a positive move.

“Sometimes it’s just a sense of confidence to have those two guys in the huddle,” offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said. “I think it kind of permeates the whole mob when these guys are there. It makes everyone feel better. … It definitely makes a difference.”

Allen’s highlight came in the final four minutes of the game when he sprinted on a third-and-18 from the right and was on the other end with a 46-yard bomb from Justin Herbert.

The situation was so desperate that Lombardi dubbed the play “Third and California,” a reference he brought with him from his previous job in New Orleans. “Just forever,” Lombardi explained. The third is too long.

An Allen catch helped set up a six-yard touchdown pass from Herbert to Joshua Palmer as the Chargers took a late lead as Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes stole again just a minute later in a 30-27 Chiefs victory.

Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen celebrates after catching his first tackle.

Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, 13, celebrates after he went down for the first time yet during the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Woolly Stadium on Sunday.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

“The odds are stacked against you,” said Herbert, referring to the drop and distance. “But when you have a guy like Keenan, you have to give him a chance. Just put the ball out there, knowing he’s going to go fight for it. He put in an incredible play on it.”

In their combined first 29 games of the season, Herbert Allen has targeted 296 times. That’s an average of 10.2 per game. Twice, Herbert targeted him 19 times, which equaled Allen’s career high.

So, when Allen was injured in Week 1 and wasn’t back at anything close to 100% until Week 11, it’s understandable that Herbert and the offense seemed far from stretched.

“to have [No.] Adding something special, said Herbert after Kansas City’s 13 game there. “We know what a competitor and fighter he is. He’s put in the work. It’s good to see him back out there.”

The Chargers will likely need more of Allen against Arizona in a game where they’re favored, and it’s a game that carries significant weight in their quest for a postseason berth.

Lombardi spoke on Thursday about the “trust factor” that exists between Herbert and Allen, explaining that many of their representatives practicing together have built up a mutual trust.

If Williams is not available on Sunday, that trust will become an even more important bond.

Injury updates

Cornerback Bryce Callahan (groin) is back to practicing in a limited capacity after being out on Wednesday. The Chargers added linebacker Michael Davis (knee) to his injury report. He too was limited.

Punter JK Scott (quadriceps) restricted for the second day in a row. The Chargers made four punters on Thursday as a precaution if Scott couldn’t play on Sunday.

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