LA Chargers News

Chargers: When is Derwin James return absolutely necessary?

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts a pass thrown by Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter during the game at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts a pass thrown by Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter during the game at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
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PITTSBURGH, PA – DECEMBER 02: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is hit after a catch by Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – DECEMBER 02: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is hit after a catch by Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Chargers will be without Derwin James for at least a month, but when is his return absolutely necessary for the team to win a game?

The Chargers reported an injury for All-Pro strong safety Derwin James following many spotting him in a walking boot at Friday’s joint practice with the Saints. After several Google searches, fans and media alike are debating how long the star defender will be forced to watch from the sidelines.

No one but the Chargers, James, and the doctors assigned to him know how long No. 33 is going to be absent for. The range is anywhere from about a month to nearly a dozen weeks, and the Chargers could opt to go with either this season. If James is a stubborn player who recovers quickly, it could be a short-term problem; if the team has won four straight games to open the season, maybe they can wait a little bit longer, as they did with Joey Bosa in 2018.

One thing is certain: The Chargers need their team leader on the field, regardless of how many capable defensive players there are on the roster who could fill in for him. There’s no way to replace such a generational talent; however, the team is able to win games without him. With five other Pro-Bowl or All-Pro players on defense, as well as two or three talented rookies who will see the field alongside them, the Chargers can do enough to come out of each game with a victory. So, if the Chargers opt to be patient with James, how long can they hold him out to ensure a full recovery?

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