The Los Angeles Chargers bye week came at a convenient time, allowing several important players the chance to return. How many of those players will return and what will their impact be?
After a tough loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chargers have absolutely no margin for error if they hope to salvage something out of their season. That starts this Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
Fortunately, the team has a pair of stars that are eligible to return, as well as two offensive tackles close to making a return. Furthermore, the Broncos are dealing with quite a large amount of injuries themselves.
Below you will find the status of these players as well as how their absence or presence will impact this Sunday’s game.
Geremy Davis, Wide Receiver – Questionable (Hamstring)
While Davis was healthy during the majority of the week, he appeared on the injury report again with a nagging hamstring injury on Friday as a limited participant. Again, the team should be fine as long as they are able to hold up on special teams against the Broncos returner, Diontae Spencer.
Russell Okung, Offensive Tackle – Questionable (Groin)
Sam Tevi, Offensive Tackle – Questionable (Knee)
Two weeks ago, the Chargers were forced to start Trey Pipkins at left tackle and Trent Scott at right tackle with both Okung and Tevi out.
Unfortunately, the duo was relatively inconsistent in their role last week. While Pipkins generally performed well, he was inconsistent and gave up several pressures. Scott has had a great amount of trouble since he was moved from left tackle to right tackle and that continued last week.
If Okung and Tevi, who were limited participants the majority of the week, are unable to play, Chargers’ offensive coordinator Shane Steichen will need to attempt to work in misdirection plays, such as reverses and screens, in order to slow the Broncos’ pass rush. Furthermore, tight ends will need to be used to help block the Broncos’ pass rushers.
Adrian Phillips, Safety – Activated from IR (Arm)
Derwin James, Safety – Activated from IR (Foot)
This week, two Chargers stars have been activated from the injured reserve list. Phillips and James have been excellent players in Gus Bradley’s defense, as they are the type of players that make playing his zone defense effective. Bradley requires safeties that are good in coverage but are also fast, sure-tacklers.
We’ve activated Derwin James and Adrian Phillips. pic.twitter.com/1dGXYc7V3o
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) November 30, 2019
With or without these two players, it is clear that Bradley would continue to run a defense heavy in zone coverage. However, that defensive gameplan will be far more effective with these two star center fielders back active.