Canadian Josh Palmer hauls in spectacular first career NFL touchdown

Photo courtesy: Mike Nowak / Los Angeles Charger

Rookie Canadian receiver Josh Palmer only had one catch in the Los Angeles Chargers’ loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, but that was all he needed to make an impact in the game.

Down 27-17 with 47 seconds left, star quarterback Justin Herbert threw up a prayer to the  Brampton, Ontario native on the fade in one of the game’s biggest moment. Palmer didn’t disappoint, jumping up in double-coverage to haul in the contested 24-yard touchdown and bring his team within three.

The Chargers couldn’t pull out the comeback victory, but Palmer’s spectacular score, the first of his young career, gave the team a chance in a pivotal game.

“A hell of a catch, hell of a catch. The type of stuff we need, especially late like that. We need a play, somebody’s gotta make one and Josh came up and made that play. It’s big time,” fellow receiver Keenan Allen said post-game.

“Especially a ball like that, catch like that, that’s just big time. That’s a momentum shift, all that type of stuff. You make a catch like that, you automatically think we’re going to get the onside kick.”

Palmer was selected by the Chargers in the third round, 77th overall during the 2021 NFL Draft.

At his University of Tennessee pro day, Palmer checked in at six-foot-one, 210 pounds with a nine-and-five-eights inch hand measurement, a 32-and-seven-eighths inch arm measurement, and a 76-and-seven-eighths wingspan measurement.

In the testing drills, the 21-year-old Brampton native ran 4.51 and 4.53 times in the 40-yard sprint, 4.25 shuttle, 6.98 three-cone, while recording a 34-inch vertical and 10-foot, four-inch broad jump.

Palmer finished his career as a Volunteer with 99 catches for 1,514 yards and seven touchdowns — 16 of those receptions went for 25 or more yards. He managed to produce in the Southeastern Conference — considered the best in the NCAA — despite inconsistent quarterback play throughout his collegiate career.

Prior to Sunday, Palmer had 6 catches for 58 yards in his first season catching passes from Justin Herbert.

J.C. Abbott is a University of British Columbia graduate and high school football coach. He covers the CFL, B.C. Lions, CFL Draft and the three-down league's Global initiative.