Derwin James injury history and outlook for 2021 season

Jun 1, 2021; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James (33) during organized team activities at Hoag Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 1, 2021; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James (33) during organized team activities at Hoag Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

How often has LA Chargers safety Derwin James been injured in his career? James has earned an injury-prone moniker, so that might answer the question right off the bat.

James is a massive component of the LA Chargers’ success and it is a shame that fans have not been able to see him on the field that often. The one season in which James did play a complete year he was an All-Pro and the Chargers were 12-4. The Chargers had a losing record and missed the playoffs both years he was hurt.

The safety position is rather thin for the Bolts this season so it is imperative that James stays healthy. Luckily, things are looking really promising for the team heading into the 2021 season.

Derwin James’ outlook for the 2021 season is right where you want it.

Derwin James has already been cleared for full participation in OTAs, which is a tremendous sign for the LA Chargers. Granted, he was fully cleared last year as well and was injured right before the season began, so anything can happen.

This season is different though as Brandon Staley is calling the shots and he has implemented some changes that could benefit the team. The Chargers are no longer doing full 11-on-11 or 1-on-1 drills with no pads, with Staley citing the player’s concerns with injuries in those reps.

Instead, the 11-on-11 drills are all walkthroughs to reduce the chance of injury. With this mindset in LA, it is easy to get excited about actually getting to see Derwin James play for the LA Chargers in 2021.

Derwin James injury history:

Derwin James torn right meniscus, September 2020

Just days before the 2020 season was set to begin the LA Chargers took a massive blow. Derwin James tore his meniscus in one of the final practices of the preseason and had to have surgery to repair the injury.

With the surgery, James was ruled out for the entire year. There was absolutely no hope of him returning to action. As soon as it happened Charger fans knew it would be another year without Derwin James.

Derwin James hamstring scare, August 2020

Just a week before he tore his meniscus, James had to leave Chargers practice early due to a hamstring scare. The hamstring ended up being okay, but with prior hamstring injury history, this was a legitimate concern at the time.

Derwin James right foot stress fracture, August 2019

James missed the first 11 games of the 2019 season due to a stress fracture in his right foot. While a stress fracture may not sound like the most horrific injury, it required James to have surgery, leading to him missing nearly three-fourths of the 2019 season.

Derwin James hamstring issues, July 2018

James dealt with a lingering hamstring issue prior to his rookie season with the Chargers in 2018. While James ended up playing the entire season for the Bolts, it did impact the start of camp for the first-round pick.

Derwin James left lateral meniscus tear, September 2016

One of the reasons why James fell in the 2018 NFL Draft was the injury concerns from his days with Florida State. James missed almost his entire sophomore season with a left lateral meniscus tear that wound up requiring surgery.

It was on the opposite knee of his pro meniscus injury but it is still a concerning look that James has had to get work done on both of his knees before the age of 25.

Next. 53-man roster predictions following the 2021 NFL Draft

Here is to a healthy 2021 season for Derwin James.