Chargers player No. 2: Joey Bosa, DE
Recent injury: Foot
It’s a whole different defense when No. 99 (now 97) hits the field. Joey Bosa is one of the most relentless players in the NFL with an arsenal of pass-rushing moves to help him get to the quarterback. No one single player, outside of Rivers, has as much a chance to break open a game like Bosa does.
Isaac Rochell, who helped fill in for Bosa last season, is an improving rotational player coming off a career year. There is hope for a Chargers defense without Bosa, and the team found success last season without their best pass rusher. There will be chaos, however, if the following player goes down with an injury…
Chargers player No. 1: Mike Pouncey, C
Recent injury: Hip (2016-2017)
Mike Pouncey is not necessarily a better player than the other four on this list, but he is by far the most irreplaceable player on the Chargers’ roster who isn’t named Philip Rivers. With Henry out, the team does have other weapons on offense. If Gordon goes out, the Chargers do have great backs in Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. Down one Tillery, the team can still win many games with a great defense, though they would struggle in the postseason. Bosa, though much better than the players behind him, does have capable members of the team who can fill in for him.
Pouncey has: Scott Quessenberry, a second-year former fifth-round pick who only appeared in 4.12 percent of the team’s offensive snaps last season, and never as a starter.
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) October 10, 2018
It appears as though Forrest Lamp will be either a guard or tackle, and Dan Feeney, who could play center, is the worst member of the starting five with a 2018 grade of 45.5. The thought of any of the five players going down with an injury is scary, but an offensive line ran by a player who has never taken a starting snap is simply frightening. Pouncey was not elite last season (at least not for the entire year), but he wasn’t Chris Watt or Spencer Pulley-level either. The team regresses the most in his absence, which is why he is the No. 1 player who must avoid injury this season.