Chargers: Opponent’s injuries
Allen Hurns, Wide Receiver – Out (Concussion)
Albert Wilson, Wide Receiver – Questionable (Hip/Calf)
The Dolphins are thin at wide receiver. Hurns missed each practice this week with a concussion, and Wilson is questionable with two leg injuries.
While Devante Parker and Preston Williams have been the primary receiving targets thus far for the Dolphins, these injuries constitute a major loss of depth at receiver for their team. This will help the ailing Chargers secondary, and it could tempt Gus Bradley to stack the box and force the Dolphins to pass.
Jesse Davis, Guard/Tackle – Questionable (Elbow)
Davis, listed as the Dolphins starting left tackle, is questionable but likely to go against the Chargers after logging limited practices all week. With the Dolphins thin on linemen, the Chargers edge rushers could take advantage of this and other injuries along the Dolphins line.
Danny Isidora, Guard – Out, IR (Foot)
Julie’n Davenport, Tackle – Out, IR (Leg)
Early in the season, the Dolphins suffered substantial offensive line losses as Isidora and Davenport went down for the year. Both were playing like backups before their injuries, and the Dolphins have been scrambling to find more depth for their offensive line, as they signed Andrew Donnal early this week.
Thus, there will be multiple backups starting the game on the Dolphins offensive line. Expect Bradley to seek out matchups in which Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram can exploit these players, even if that means Bosa and Ingram have to line up on the interior of the line.
Trent Harris, Linebacker – Questionable (Foot)
Harris, a backup linebacker, has participated in limited practice this week. His loss would mean a lack of special teams depth but would not make a major impact on the Chargers offense.
Jomal Wiltz, Cornerback – Out (Groin)
At corner, the Dolphins have one star (Xavien Howard) but little depth. Losing Wiltz thins the depth even further for the Dolphins.
The Chargers may need to rely a bit on their receivers down the depth chart for production, as Allen is likely to be shadowed by Howard. If the Chargers’ receivers can hold onto the ball (a big question), many receivers will have a chance at a big game against the Dolphins.
Reshad Jones, Safety – Questionable (Ankle)
Bobby McCain, Safety – Questionable (Hamstring/Shoulder)
Both of the Dolphins’ starting safeties, Jones and McCain, are injured and questionable. The Chargers will be tempted to throw the ball down the field and challenge their health, but they may not have the bodies to do so themselves.
Injury Impact Analysis
Miami Dolphins Injury Impact: 7
Finally, the Dolphins are the first foe the Chargers face with similarly significant injury issues.
While the Dolphins do not have injuries to any star players (probably because they only have one), they have multiple position groups that are completely devoid of depth (wide receiver, the offensive line, and the secondary). The Chargers have strengths where the Dolphins have weaknesses, and it should show in this game.
Los Angeles Chargers Injury Impact: 9
For the first time this season, the Chargers register a nine on the injury impact scale.
In this game, the Bolts are completely devoid of depth at the pass-catching positions and in the secondary. While they should be able to conquer the Dolphins, injuries may make this game closer than many initially would suspect, especially if Hayward is unable to go or plays limited snaps.
Thankfully, the Chargers’ foe has completed the worst start to a season in history, so a week to recover from injuries could not have come at a better time.