The Los Angeles Chargers will be without their top cornerback for the second week in a row.
According to the team’s official Twitter account, Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett will not play against the Kansas City Chiefs. Verrett has been dealing with a knee injury and missed last week’s home opener against the Miami Dolphins. Earlier in the week, head coach Anthony Lynn said there isn’t any timetable on Verrett and that the former first-rounder is week-to-week, via ESPN’s Eric D. Williams.
2016 undrafted free agent Trevor Williams will likely start opposite Casey Hayward for the second straight game. Pro Football Focus liked what they saw from Williams in the Chargers’ loss to the Dolphins:
“Second-year CB Trevor Williams was the standout player in the Chargers secondary, as he was targeted 5 times, allowing three catches for 41 yards. He limited opposing receivers to only three yards after the catch and also recorded a pass breakup. Williams finished with the second-highest coverage grade on the team of 81.3.”
As for Verrett, it’s tough to see a player of his caliber not being able to stay healthy. Perhaps another week or two of rest fixes the issue.
Meanwhile, running back Melvin Gordon is listed as questionable. He popped up on the injury report with a knee injury and was a limited participant in practice Thursday and Friday. Right tackle Joseph Barksdale, who left Week 2’s game with a foot injury, is also listed as questionable. However, both players are expected to play against the Chiefs on Sunday, per L.A. Times’ Dan Woike. Barksdale’s backup, Chris Hairston, will miss the remainder of the season after being placed on the non-football illness list. Hairston said he developed blood clots.
The running game needs to get going. Gordon scored a touchdown in the Chargers’ first two games, but the third-year running back is averaging 2.5 yards per carry and was only given nine carries against Miami. Barksdale and the offensive line have done a solid job in pass protection, but they need to do a better job in creating running lanes for Gordon. At the same time, Gordon needs to do a better job in breaking tackles and exploding for bigger gains.