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) /
facebooktwitterreddit
3 of 3
DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 30: Running back Devontae Booker #23 of the Denver Broncos rushes as free safety Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers attempts a tackle in the second half of a game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 30, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 30: Running back Devontae Booker #23 of the Denver Broncos rushes as free safety Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers attempts a tackle in the second half of a game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 30, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

Chargers schedule: The next few weeks

The Chargers know better than to underestimate their Week 5 opponent: The Denver Broncos. It’s a team they were able to beat last year without playing starters for most of the fourth quarter, but it’s also a team they let come back and win in Los Angeles weeks prior. However, as it was with the Lions and Dolphins, this Chargers team is more talented. With more linebackers and more defensive linemen, the team should be able to stop the Joe Flacco-led offense without too much trouble.

It is the next game, however, where No. 33 is absolutely needed to return: At home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This game may be the Chargers’ toughest of the season. Sure, they beat them in Pittsburgh just last season, but nearly the same Steelers team is returning and seeking vengeance this year.

The Chargers won their previous meeting thanks to (among other reasons) a phenomenal prime time performance from James. Whether a textbook tackle, a fantastic hit to knock Antonio Brown out of bounds, or a perfectly read interception, James did everything for the Chargers that day. On October 13th, the team will need him to do it again. This game may mean quite a bit come January, as a win against an AFC playoff-ready team could give them the edge in seeding.

This Sunday is August 18th, which means James would have eight weeks to rest and prepare for this game, should he avoid injured reserve:

If James starts the season on IR, he could start practicing after six weeks but wouldn't be eligible for games until Week 9. Has to sit out at least eight weeks. #Chargers https://t.co/Bjtv5ZcFUI

— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) August 16, 2019

The Steelers game is Week 6, which would indeed be missed if James lands on injured reserve temporarily.

Who to watch as Chargers take on Saints. Next

For now, let the Chargers handle their stud player and determine what is best for him. Though James is insanely talented, this is still one of the best defenses in the league. The Chargers don’t truly need him back, in this writer’s opinion, until the Steelers game in eight weeks. Can the team last that long? Bosa, Ingram, Jerry Tillery, Justin Jones, Casey Hayward, Desmond King, Adrian Phillips, Nasir Adderley, Uchenna Nwosu, Drue Tranquill, Thomas Davis, Denzel Perryman, Michael Davis, Kyzir White, Jatavis Brown, Brandon Mebane, and Trevor Williams (and a few others) could make a strong case that the defense will do just fine.

facebooktwitterreddit