Chargers may already have a disaster at left tackle

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images /

With recent news of an injury to starting left tackle Russell Okung, the Chargers may find themselves already in a disaster…

The Chargers brought in Russell Okung two years ago and have benefited from the signing ever since; not only is the veteran left tackle a reliable option who has started in nearly 94 percent of possible games with the team, but he’s been a solid starter, even earning a Pro-Bowl nod in 2017.

Unfortunately, some bad news at an important position:

LT Russell Okung also did not practice due to an undisclosed injury, according to Lynn. Asked of Okung’s injury could be long-term, Lynn said: “We don’t know yet.” Sam Tevi shifted over to left tackle with Okung out, and Trent Scott played right tackle.

— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) June 11, 2019

There are no indications as to what kind of injury this is, and Anthony Lynn appears unwilling to disclose the severity of the problem. Though it can be long-term, it has not officially been stated as such. So don’t panic, yet.

However, if this proves to be a long-term injury, things could get problematic for the Chargers in a hurry. Opting to not take an offensive lineman with their first or second-round selections, the Chargers leave themselves with rookie third-round raw talent Trey Pipkins behind him. According to Eric Williams’ tweet, Sam Tevi will play at left tackle with Trent Scott at right tackle while Okung is out.

Why the starting right tackle (and not currently a good one at that) is the backup option for the team’s starting left tackle position is unknown. It’s not that switching the right tackle to the left is uncommon, but it’s strange they currently have no better plan. Tevi was expected to grow as a starting right tackle, why move him over to another position? Even if Tevi moves over, where is Forrest Lamp? Michael Schofield? The team clearly feels Pipkins is unable to man the position as of right now.

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The Chargers will need to sort this out if the injury is indeed long-term. With the Colts, Texans, Broncos, Steelers, Titans, and Bears on the schedule within the first eight weeks of the regular season, the team needs to figure out an emergency offensive line quickly.