LA Chargers: The silver lining of Melvin Ingram’s injury

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

The LA Chargers will be without Melvin Ingram for at least three weeks after placing him on the injured reserve.

The LA Chargers announced three new additions to the injured reserve on Saturday and one name caught every fan’s attention — Melvin Ingram. Ingram, Justin Jones and Asmar Bilal are all heading to the IR while Ryan Groy, Malik Jefferson and Jessie Lemonier were promoted to the active roster.

Ingram was missing practice after Week 2 for what was believed to just be knee soreness. While his status for Week 3 was always up in the air, the move to put him on the IR came as a big surprise for most Charger fans.

However, the IR rules have changed this season and teams are allowed to activate a player after three weeks. That likely played a role in the team’s decision, opting to be cautious with Ingram instead of pushing it.

While this obviously leaves the Chargers thinner on the defensive line, there is a silver lining to Ingram being placed on the IR, which we hope is just for three weeks.

The silver lining of Melvin Ingram’s injury:

First of all, it feels wrong even saying that there is a silver lining to an injury. Every injury sucks, especially in this case for Ingram, who is a free agent after the season and is playing for his next contract.

However, if we want to look at the glass half-full instead of half-empty then we can focus on Uchenna Nwosu, who has been fantastic thus far this season.

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Nwosu has gotten limited snaps thus far this season but has excelled in his chances. Nwosu has been extremely efficient in pressuring the quarterback this season but has been a rotating piece in the defense.

Nwosu has only played a combined 43 snaps in two games this season but has a quarterback sack, three quarterback hits and a tackle for loss. Nwosu was always known to be solid against the run but he is making his mark as a pass-rusher this season.

This extended oppurtunity is going to allow the LA Chargers the chance to see how Nwosu performs as more than just a rotational piece. Is he someone who the team can trust to be on the right side of the defensive line alongside Joey Bosa in the future? We will get a better answer to that question in these three weeks.

As good as Ingram is, he is on the wrong side of 30 and the Chargers do not have unlimited funds. Personally, I always looked at the 2020 season as a proving ground for both him and Hunter Henry.

Henry is younger and is one of the eight-best pass-catching tight ends in the league. If he can stay healthy and have a great year (he is off to a really good start) then he might have the advantage over Ingram to be re-signed.

Realistically, unless one of them takes a pay cut, the Chargers can only afford one of Ingram and Henry. Ingram being out for these three weeks and seeing Nwosu in there might make that decision easier.

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At the end of the day, if the LA Chargers are going to contend for a playoff spot then they need Melvin Ingram to come back healthy. But at the very least, at least they can gauge their future and see a potential breakout in the making.