Chargers' offense rolls in intense scrimmage vs. Rams

IRVINE, Calif. -- Looking for a reason two of the three fights between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams took place between the Chargers’ offense and the Rams’ defense?

It was more of an evenly matched contest.

Things were relatively quiet on the other field, with the Chargers’ defense mostly suffocating a young and developing Rams’ offense led by second-year quarterback Jared Goff.

Goff showed progress and connected on deep plays to tight end Tyler Higbee and rookie receiver Cooper Kupp. However, the Chargers kept the Rams’ offense from crossing midfield during two-minute drills.

The Rams’ cornerbacks seemed to set a tone for the scrimmage by playing physical, man press coverage during one-on-ones against the Chargers’ receivers that led to some trash talk, and ultimately some punches thrown.

The result of the fighting was a more intense practice for both teams, which pushed the Chargers’ offense to play with more urgency.

Quarterback Philip Rivers had a running dialogue with the Rams’ defensive backs. And even normally quiet veteran Antonio Gates got into the conversation at times.

“We’ve got a lot of weapons,” running back Melvin Gordon said. “I think our offensive line is really turning things around. Obviously, we’ve got playmakers at every position. And obviously, we’ve got a great quarterback to lead us into that battlefield. That makes things a lot easier, when you’ve got No. 17.”

The Chargers’ arsenal was on full display against the Rams on Wednesday. Gates, who missed three practices to attend the Hall of Fame induction of former teammate LaDainian Tomlinson, was a frequent target of Rivers in his return to the field this week, shaking loose for several big gains.

“I wanted to get him involved,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said about Gates. “He’s been gone for four days, had to get the rust off him. Keenan (Allen) came out and went the whole day and looked good.”

Allen scored back-to-back touchdowns in the red zone with Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman in coverage -- the same person he slammed to the ground in the first skirmish between the teams.

Receivers Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin, along with tight end Hunter Henry made some plays in the passing game.

And along with Gordon, Andre Williams, Branden Oliver and Kenjon Barner ran the ball hard.

The scrimmage was good preparation for the Chargers’ first preseason game against another ultra-aggressive opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, on Sunday at StubHub Center.

“I had a chance to play against them in the preseason,” Gordon said about the Seahawks. “Every down they take serious, even in the preseason. They take it serious. They actually, my rookie year, they got me more ready than any team. I’m definitely expecting a good game, even if it’s a couple plays. I’m expecting them to play hard.”

Defensively, undrafted rookie cornerback Michael Davis had a nice day with a couple pass breakups, and safety Jahleel Addae did a nice job of patrolling the middle for the starting defense.

“It seemed like every time I turned around, he was making a play,” Lynn said about Davis.

Lynn also said defensive end Chris McCain was having a good practice before he got kicked off the field for fighting.

Kicker Josh Lambo made all of his kicks, but rookie Younghoe Koo missed from 48 yards.

Injury update: Casey Hayward appeared to suffer a right ankle injury midway through practice, but Lynn said he was OK. ... Lynn said he gave receiver Tyrell Williams a rest day. Defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu, cornerback Craig Mager, receiver Andre Patton, and defensive end Chris Landrum also did not practice. Jason Verrett played some snaps with the first-team offense during 7-on-7 drills and appeared to come out of the scrimmage OK. Rookie receiver Mike Williams remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.