The Chargers will face the Indianapolis Colts without Andrew Luck, and may now see another AFC South team without one if its best players.
The Chargers could use a little break following injuries, ailments, and holdouts this preseason. It’s important the team gain as much traction as possible in the first quarter of the season to drive into an AFC West title and deep playoff run.
Two teams challenging them in the AFC, the Colts and the Texans, are guaranteed to be without Andrew Luck and Lamar Miller, respectively, which does work in favor of the Chargers. On top of that, another starter may be absent from the Texans due to contract disputes: Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
The absence will occur as a result of one of two things: Either he holds out and isn’t on the field, or he is eventually traded to another team. According to Sports Illustrated, here are the teams with interest in Clowney:
- Miami Dolphins
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Seattle Seahawks
- Washington Redskins
- New York Jets
The only one of those teams the Chargers will face this regular season are the Dolphins, who they face in Week Four following a clash with the Texans. Though teams don’t prefer to trade talented assets to those in the same conference, the Dolphins are also not considered contenders this season.
Now, the Texans shipping Clowney does not only have a negative effect on the Texans, as whatever they acquire in return could benefit them this season. If the Dolphins, for example, were to send the Texans help on the offensive line, Houston would still gain something to help them remain competitive (their roster already is) with Los Angeles.
Still, the absence of Clowney would increase the Chargers’ chances of success in Week Four. With both Sam Tevi and Trent Scott expected to start at tackle, any edge rusher absent from the game would help Philip Rivers tremendously.