Chargers Playoffs: Injuries and the defense
Some of the Chargers’ injuries are season-ending on the IR, which is unfortunate. This includes the likes of Sean Culkin, Andrew Vollert, and Mike Pouncey. However, amongst all the carnage, there are key players projected to be back.
Derwin James, Adrian Phillips and Dontrelle Inman are just a few of the guys injured that can make a massive difference once they come back. Hunter Henry is projected to play this week after being injured since Week 1. Melvin Ingram is nursing a hamstring and will be back within the next one or two weeks.
There are reinforcements coming for the Chargers if they’re able to just stay above water until the back half of the season. The Wild Card in this situation is Russell Okung, who is on the non-football injury list with a blood clot. If he’s able to come back in the near future, it would be a massive boost for an offensive line that’s performed with mixed results. One way or another, the Chargers have help on the way.
With all the holes in the Chargers’ defense due to injury, it’s still a top 10 defense in the league. Casey Hayward and Michael Davis have been fantastic in the secondary with Joey Bosa, Ingram, and Uchenna Nwosu lighting it up on the line. The linebacker group could be better, but it’s overall a decent unit considering all of the setbacks. The Chargers’ defense is 11th in yards allowed and ninth in points allowed.
The defense has also covered to some degree for an offense that’s been mediocre to this point. While there are bright spots like Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler, it’s the 18th ranked offense in the league in points per game. If the defense can take it to another level when they get James back off the IR, watch out.