LA Chargers News

Chargers’ offensive line dealing with injuries; Bosa still not ready to play

Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tackle King Dunlap (77) blocks Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) during the second half of the game at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tackle King Dunlap (77) blocks Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) during the second half of the game at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Aside from blowing two fourth-quarter leads, the San Diego Chargers have played well through three games, especially on offense. A big reason why is because the offensive line has stepped up its game.

Unfortunately, the offensive line is now starting to get banged up. What else is new?

Chargers LG Orlando Franklin (back), RT Joe Barksdale (foot), ILB Jatavis Brown (hamstring) listed questionable to face Saints.

— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) September 30, 2016

Left guard Orlando Franklin, who did not practice on Thursday, was back on the field on Friday, so that’s a good sign. Right tackle Joseph Barksdale was a limited participant in Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice, but he is not practicing with the team on Friday. If he misses Sunday’s game, swing tackle Chris Hairston could start, or the Chargers could move D.J. Fluker to tackle, a position he knows well, and put Spencer Pulley at right guard (that, of course, is if Franklin suits up).

Left tackle King Dunlap will likely miss Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints after being listed as doubtful.

Chargers have ruled out DE Joey Bosa, S Jahleel Addae and CB Brandon Flowers for Sunday. Doubtful: TE Antonio Gates, DE King Dunlap.

— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) September 30, 2016

Bets shouldn’t be placed on whether the Chargers will win or lose, but they should now be placed on which Charger will get hurt and leave the game. All joking aside, Dunlap, who is dealing with “migraines” that is not linked to concussions, per coach Mike McCoy, was clearly missed against the Indianapolis Colts. Hairston was his replacement, and let’s just say he did not fare well against one of the worst defenses in the league.

Mike McCoy discusses adjustments that will be made along the offensive line:https://t.co/eLHXzGe820

— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) September 30, 2016

In other news, tight end Hunter Henry will likely start in place of Antonio Gates for the second straight game, which isn’t a bad thing. Henry has been an excellent blocker and finally saw action in the passing game (five catches on five targets for 72 yards) last week. The unfortunate game-sealing fumble is overshadowing Henry’s production.

On the defensive side of the ball, Brandon Flowers will sit out due to a concussion that he suffered in last week’s game against the Colts. The Chargers are solid at corner with Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward, who is having an incredible start to the season. Craig Mager will likely see plenty of snaps, so let’s see if the former third-rounder can hold up.

With Manti Te’o (torn Achilles) lost for the year, the Chargers need rookie linebacker Jatavis Brown on the field. His explosive play (six total tackles, one sack and one forced fumble in Week 3) is exactly what the Chargers need on defense. His speed and athleticism is unmatched. Hamstring injuries are tricky, though, so the Bolts definitely need to be careful with him. Maybe 2016 fourth-round pick Joshua Perry will get playing time.

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa practiced this week but was limited. He is ruled out on Sunday, but hopefully we’ll see the No. 3 overall pick in action in two weeks when the Chargers travel to Oakland to face the Raiders.

Back to the O-line. They need to stay intact in order for the Chargers to succeed. The Chargers have the ability to overcome certain injuries, but if the offensive line can’t stay healthy, then you can kiss this season goodbye.

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