COSTA MESA, Calif. — Wide receiver Keenan Allen told ESPN on Friday that he “had kind of a fan perspective on things” when he sent out a critical tweet during the Los Angeles Chargers‘ Week 5 win over the Cleveland Browns.
“WTF are we doing,” Allen wrote in a since-deleted tweet after coach Brandon Staley elected to attempt a conversion on fourth-and-1 with one minute, 14 seconds remaining from their own 46-yard line last Sunday.
Quarterback Justin Herbert‘s pass fell incomplete to wide receiver Mike Williams, but Browns kicker Cade York, who converted a 58-yard field goal earlier in the season, missed a potential game-winning 54-yard attempt to give the Chargers a 30-28 victory.
“I didn’t feel what they were feeling, see what they were seeing,” Allen said about his coaches and teammates who were in Cleveland while he was away from the team nursing a hamstring injury. “When [Staley] talked to us in the team meeting, it just made sense.”
When asked if he needed to address coaches or the team after publicly questioning Staley’s decision, Allen said, “I don’t think I was questioning it. That was just my opinion, even if I was on the field.”
On Friday, offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi expressed regret over the fourth-down playcall.
“I wish I had that call back,” Lombardi said, adding later in regard to the decision to go for it on fourth down, “I just felt guilty because I felt like I could have made a better play-call and everyone would have thought it was the smartest decision ever.”
Allen, 30, said after the team meeting that he went to Staley’s office “on my own” to talk to him and “let him know how I was feeling, let him know why I did it and like he said, it made us closer.”
Staley said earlier in the week that he was made aware of Allen’s tweet following the game.
“Since I’ve become the head coach, we have become extremely close,” Staley said. “Anyone that has been a part of competition knows that when you’re not a part of it, you can feel some type of way. Keenan’s heart is with me, it’s with us… We’re going to become closer because of it.”
The Chargers (3-2) will host the Denver Broncos (2-3) in an AFC West matchup on Monday Night Football at SoFi Stadium.
Allen said, “I doubt it, but it’s in the air,” when asked if he would return from his hamstring injury.
Allen sustained the injury in a 24-19 win over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 and said he reaggravated it at practice ahead of a Week 4 matchup against the Houston Texans.
“Last week was definitely when I wanted to get back, but that didn’t happen,” Allen said of a potential return date. “We’re just playing it day-by-day. This week would be great, but I don’t think I’m going to make it. So, Seattle’s looking bright.”
The Chargers play the Seattle Seahawks (2-3) in Week 7 at SoFi Stadium.