The Los Angeles Chargers haven’t had their starting safeties on the field together this entire season. That could soon change.
There are many reasons that the Chargers have stumbled to a 4-7 record this season, but among the biggest, and one that is often forgotten, is the fact that the team has been missing Derwin James for all of this season thus far and Adrian Phillips for a large portion of it.
However, the Chargers have chosen to activate James off of injured reserve and Phillips has already been designated to return. It’s possible that both players could be on the field together as early as this Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
It’s obvious what James brings to the team. After a marvelous rookie season, James became recognized as one of the best young defensive players in all of football. His absence, due to a stress fracture in his foot, has been enormous. Would the Chargers really be 4-7 if James had played every game?
Phillips is no slouch either, but a broken arm suffered in Week 2 shut him down for most of the season. He has worked hard to return to the field and that should happen soon.
This is not to rile everyone up and say that the Chargers are going to go on a major run right now, but it will be nice to see the team have its top two options in the defensive backfield.
Following the draft, the dream of all fans was to see James and Nasir Adderley on the field together, but Adderley has had a rough rookie season, to say the least, and won’t be on the field again until next season.
On the other hand, Rayshawn Jenkins has had his best season as a professional and Roderic Teamer has filled in about as well as could be expected given the circumstances and the fact that he is an undrafted rookie.
But the Chargers need a chance to get their best players on the field and while Jenkins will still see some snaps, Phillips deserves a chance to play with James and show what the two can do together.
It will also be an important time to evaluate Phillips at this stage in his career as he is once again a free agent at season’s end.
Look for No. 31 and No. 33 to be standing on the field together soon, ready to attack the opposing offense.