Chargers WR Tyrell Williams among notable players not practicing
By Matt Pagels
Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams had a great game last Sunday against the Houston Texans. He finished with a career-high eight receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he also exited the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
The San Diego Chargers are actually relatively healthy going into Week 13–I mean, if you take away the hundreds of bodies that are on injured reserve. But a key player did miss practice, and that is Williams. According to San Diego Union-Tribune’s Michael Gehlken, Williams is still dealing with a labrum injury he suffered in the win against the Texans.
Tyrell Williams played through torn labrum his senior year in college. Has labrum injury to same shoulder now: https://t.co/JKEkzc2N1Q
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) November 29, 2016
Williams wound up getting surgery following his senior year to repair his shoulder. Earlier in the week, head coach Mike McCoy said Williams is “good” despite suffering the newest injury, per Gehlken. McCoy also acknowledged that Williams dealt with the injury in the past, so they will know what his limitations are.
Per reports, Williams isn’t expected to miss any time, which is a good thing. But we don’t know the severity of the injury or how it will affect his catch radius. Williams has essentially ascended into the No. 1 receiver role, and quarterback Philip Rivers will need his man going forward.
The only reliable–and available–receivers behind Williams are Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin. The latter returned last Sunday from injury, but he didn’t make an impact at all (one catch for eight yards). He might not be 100 percent healthy.
In other news, two defensive starters remained out of practice.
Chargers CB Brandon Flowers (concussion) and ILB Jatavis Brown (knee) are not practicing today. Neither played Sunday in Houston.
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) November 30, 2016
Brandon Flowers sustained a concussion against the Miami Dolphins in Week 10, and it appears he won’t make it back on the field this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Flowers already missed four games earlier this season due to a concussion. To be honest, I don’t know if we’re going to see him suit up for the remainder of the year.
The Chargers have been without their No. 1 corner in Jason Verrett (torn ACL) since Week 5, so losing Flowers, who’s played so-so when active, will hurt depth. Thankfully, free-agent acquisition Casey Hayward, who is leading the league in interceptions (six), has been able to hold down the fort by playing at an All-Pro level.
Meanwhile, the Chargers are hurting at linebacker after hearing that Jeremiah Attaochu will miss the rest of the year with a broken foot, so Jatavis Brown missing another practice doesn’t bode well for the team. Like what fellow rookie Joey Bosa has done, Brown brought this defense to another level when he was on the field. The 2016 fifth-rounder was flying around the field, making plays and creating turnovers. If Manti Te’o never got hurt earlier in year, we might not have known what we got with Brown.
The Chargers do have Korey Toomer and Joshua Perry, both of whom have been playing well. Toomer, who was signed in the middle of the season, has been a blessing for the Bolts. He’s been creating turnovers left and right, and he’s led the Chargers in total tackles for the third week in a row. Brown has missed the past three games, and if he isn’t fully ready to play, it’s probably best to keep him out on Sunday.
But aside from Williams, Flowers and Brown, the Chargers are fresh. Hopefully they can stay that way, especially if they make a playoff push.