The Los Angeles Chargers have lost several key players to injury ahead of their week one matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
There’s a good chance the Los Angeles Chargers will be without some of their best players when they travel to Cincinnati for their week one matchup against the Bengals. First, wide receiver Mike Williams went down to a shoulder injury that puts his status to begin the season up in the air.
After the potentially devastating loss of the surging pass catcher, more bad news broke out on the west coast as defensive phenom Derwin James suffered an injury that is expected to cause him to miss 6-8 months.
Last year, Williams was a big play waiting to happen, averaging a whopping 20.4 yards per reception on his way to eclipsing 1,000 yards receiving. For a Bengals secondary that has suffered a number of injuries, most notably Trae Waynes, one less weapon to line up against levels the playing field a bit.
Derwin James’ absence will make Joe Burrow’s debut much easier
Joe Burrow will have a tall task ahead of him in his NFL debut. The lack of preseason in combination with the Chargers’ outstanding pass-rushing duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will undoubtedly cause headaches for the first-year signal-caller.
However, with Derwin James gone, the whole defense becomes significantly weaker. James served as Los Angeles’ do-it-all player, lining up in several positions all over the field and making impact plays.
Either way, the defensive line, as previously mentioned, is still as strong as ever and the secondary has players like Casey Hayward to mask the loss of James. On the offensive side of the ball, Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler are dangerous weapons in their own right, even without Williams helping take some attention off of them.
With or without injuries, the Chargers still represent tough competition for a new-look Bengals squad. Just 12 days out from kickoff, the orange and black faithful will soon be able to tell if all the work from this offseason will begin to pay off.