LA Chargers News

Five Chargers who need to avoid injury this season

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 09: Hunter Henry #86 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after a one-yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 9, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 09: Hunter Henry #86 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after a one-yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 9, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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SOUTH BEND, IN – SEPTEMBER 30: Jerry Tillery #99 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish rushes against Sam McCollum #66 of the Miami (Oh) Redhawks at Notre Dame Stadium on Seotember 30, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Miami (OH) 52-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
SOUTH BEND, IN – SEPTEMBER 30: Jerry Tillery #99 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish rushes against Sam McCollum #66 of the Miami (Oh) Redhawks at Notre Dame Stadium on Seotember 30, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Miami (OH) 52-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Chargers need all the health they can to make a Super Bowl run, but these five players in particular must avoid injury…

While the Chargers are dealing with an injury to Russell Okung, one can begin to wonder what other members of the team are as irreplaceable as a franchise left tackle. Most of the players on the 2019 roster are important pieces to build towards a championship, but five in particular are who must avoid injury this season. Not counting Okung and Philip Rivers, here are those five…

Chargers player No. 5: Jerry Tillery, DT

Recent injury: Shoulder

Without a healthy Jerry Tillery, the Chargers will not beat the New England Patriots. How’s that for some rookie season pressure?

This is assuming Tillery is doing well in his inaugural season and has worked his way into becoming a starter, as Brandon Mebane and Justin Jones are the two interior defensive linemen in front of him at this time. The Chargers took Tillery to generate more pressure in the face of the quarterback, an even more pressing need following the departure of Darius Philon. The team has shown it could beat AFC powerhouses like the Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Ravens, but looked completely over-matched against the Patriots. Tom Brady had one of his most efficient games of the entire season simply because he had the time to do exactly what he wanted. Tillery can change that.

The most important part for Tillery will be staying healthy for an entire NFL regular season schedule. If the Chargers play the Patriots at all, it will be in the postseason. Though Jones and Mebane may provide support in stopping the run, it’s all up to Tillery to maintain a steady pass rush in January.

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