LA Chargers News

Injuries, improvement, and impact: How Chargers injuries match up against Broncos

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13: Dontrelle Inman #15 of the San Diego Chargers fends off Chris Harris #25 of the Denver Broncos as he runs after his catch during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13: Dontrelle Inman #15 of the San Diego Chargers fends off Chris Harris #25 of the Denver Broncos as he runs after his catch during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 30: Outside linebacker Bradley Chubb #55 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field during player introductions before a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 30, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 30: Outside linebacker Bradley Chubb #55 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field during player introductions before a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 30, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Chargers: Opponent injuries

Ja’Wuan James, Tackle – Questionable (Knee)

At right tackle, the Broncos face a fairly steep drop off in talent from their starter to their backup. Ja’Wuan James has performed well this year, earning a 67.5 grade from PFF, but his backup (Elijah Wilkinson) is riding a low 50.9 grade.

If James is absent, the Chargers will work to get a Wilkinson vs. Joey Bosa matchup as frequently as possible. If James is present, he will provide a decent challenge to the Chargers defensive ends and edge rushers.

Bradley Chubb, Linebacker – Out, IR (Knee)

In an unfortunate turn of events, Bradley Chubb was lost for the season last week with a torn ACL. In his spot, rookies Malik Reid and Justin Hollins are listed as co-starters.

This unfortunate setback will greatly help the Chargers in containing the Broncos pass rush. Instead of having trouble on both ends with Chubb and Miller, the Chargers will have more freedom to add an extra blocker on Miller’s side to stop the prolific pass rusher. Expect them to do that frequently.

Josey Jewell, Linebacker – Questionable (Hamstring)

Though listed as questionable, Jewell has not participated in a practice this week, and he seems unlikely to play against the Chargers.

If Jewell is absent, the Chargers can take advantage of mismatches in coverage and against the run by attacking Jewell’s inside linebacker spot with runs up the middle and shallow crossing routes.

Bryce Callahan, Corner – Out (Foot)

Callahan has been missing from the Broncos lineup for most of the year, and De’Vante Bausby has been primarily responsible for taking his spot. He has performed decently, but Callahan’s absence is also felt further down the depth chart.

Behind Bausby and opposite of starter Chris Harris Jr. is rookie Isaac Yiadom. Yiadom has frequently been picked on this year and has not played very well. Since he will be forced to see the field in the continued absence of Callahan, Philip Rivers will seek to take advantage of any matchups against Yiadom when available.

Kareem Jackson, Safety – Questionable (Hamstring)

Kareem Jackon is a safety by name, but he has been a versatile piece for the Broncos over the course of this year, frequently playing corner in nickel situations. While Jackson has a hamstring injury, he is expected back in the lineup this week.

Jackson has played well in his role as a corner and safety, so his presence will be important to monitor in this game, as his backups would surely be picked on by Rivers in the passing game.

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