LA Chargers: Ryan Groy’s positive COVID test is challenging for the O-Line
While Ryan Groy may not be the most individually important player to the LA Chargers, the effects of his positive COVID-19 test are far-reaching.
On Thursday morning, it was revealed that offensive lineman Ryan Groy was the first LA Chargers‘ player to have a confirmed positive coronavirus test result in 2020:
The Chargers' player who tested positive for COVID-19 and began a self quarantine is OL Ryan Groy, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 29, 2020
Groy is now in self-quarantine and will not play this week against Denver as he has also been placed on the IR. Obviously, if there’s an outbreak of some sort and the Chargers see more positive results roll in, that game against Denver might very well be in jeopardy.
Practice on Thursday wound up being canceled after it was discovered that at least one other Chargers player tested positive.
Groy was already being pushed into the starting role with Trai Turner not playing due to injury. Now, the Chargers’ depth will be tested further. The Chargers may have to rely on Tyree St. Louis or Scott Quessenberry at the right guard position. St. Louis is already the emergency swing tackle if something happens to Sam Tevi or Trey Pipkins, so it would likely be Quessenberry filling in.
Bryan Bulaga will likely not get a chance to practice now with the offensive line to the degree that the team would’ve liked. Turner already probably wasn’t playing, so Chargers fans are staring down the barrel of a Pipkins-Quessenberry-Dan Feeney–Forrest Lamp-Tevi offensive line.
It’s one thing to have a wide receiver or cornerback out with a positive test, but the offensive line is where continuity is most important in the sport. The constant line reshuffling isn’t good for the running game, which has struggled not just because of the loss of Austin Ekeler, but also the losses of Turner and Bulaga.
Denver’s defensive line is not what it usually is considering all of their injuries, but there are still some threats. Bradley Chubb and Shelby Harris are in prime position to take advantage of the lack of depth on the right side of the Chargers’ line.
Groy’s test and other positives are also coming in right before a crucial two-game stretch for the Chargers. The season is on the line against Denver and Oakland. While it’s cliché to say “must-win” this early in the season, not being at full strength could prove costly. The Chargers went 0-6 in divisional games last year, some of them separated by just one score.
Positive tests, missed practices, poor offensive line depth, and potential scheduling nightmares are just some of the problems the LA Chargers may have to deal with as a result of Groy’s unfortunate positive test. While not the end of the world, it makes things a lot tougher for the Chargers in Week 8 and moving forward.