If there is one thing that the LA Chargers know about more than just about every other NFL team it is injuries. Year in and year out, the Chargers are seemingly plagued with injuries that hinder the production of the team.
Every NFL team gets hurt and to pretend like the Bolts are the only ones to suffer from the injury bug is silly. However, it is quite remarkable how common it is for the Chargers. It has not been common only recently and has burned the Chargers in big spots.
Whether it be Derwin James only playing five games in years two and three of his career after being named an All-Pro or LaDainian Tomlinson getting hurt and Philip Rivers tearing his ACL for the AFC Championship Game, it is clear the Chargers do not have the best injury luck.
Players will get hurt in 2021 but the hope, like every other year, is that the damage will stay to a minimum and the team can stay mostly healthy to make a deep playoff push. If the team can stay healthy then it is absolutely good enough to be called a Super Bowl dark horse.
Two of the most important players for the LA Chargers to stay healthy are Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
How far the LA Chargers go in 2021 is going to depend on how far Justin Herbert can take them. With a healthy supporting cast and a second-year quarterback bump, Herbert can truly take the Bolts to the moon.
Having both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams healthy for most of the season is going to be huge for Herbert. Allen offers the consistent outlet guy who can make 100 catches in a season and is elite on third downs. Every contending team needs a guy like Allen.
Williams is the jump-ball deep threat that not only benefits from Herbert’s big arm, but will benefit from his red-zone efficiency in 2021.
The problem is that both players are projected to miss multiple games next season. Sports Injury Predictor takes historical injury data along with other factors such as age and position to predict the chance a player will get hurt in a season and how many games they are projected to miss.
Both Williams and Allen have fairly high injury chances, with Williams projected to miss 2.9 games and Allen to miss 2.3 games in 2021. That is not terrible, but the fact that they are both projected to miss multiple games is not a great sign.
Williams is the one that Charger fans should feel more cautious about. Allen dealt with injuries early in his career but has escaped that injury-prone narrative. He did miss some time last season, but if the Chargers were a contending team and not a losing team then he probably could have pushed it and played.
Instead, the LA Chargers were rightfully cautious.
Williams, on the other hand, has dealt with various injuries both throughout his professional and collegiate career. A big reason for Williams’ injury history is the way he plays football. His physical, go-up-and-get-it approach does make him more likely to hurt himself on the way down.
So even though Keenan Allen has more games missed over his entire career, Williams is the player to watch, which is evident by the fact that he is projected to miss more games than Allen.
Hopefully, this does not even matter and neither receiver misses a game for the LA Chargers.