The Los Angeles Chargers' secondary is currently undermanned while JC Jackson recovers from ankle surgery. The operation came as a surprise to fans, but Brandon Staley eased minds by saying the procedure was intended to address discomfort, not an injury.
While this course of action is promising for Jackson's long-term outlook, it's possible the surgery knocks him out for the season-opener.
While we await an update on Jackson's Week 1 status, the Chargers' younger cornerbacks took centerstage during the preseason and showed out.
In fact, the trio of Asante Samuel Jr., Ja'Sir Taylor and Michael Davis shared the field for 18 plays and flaunted a 100% perfectly-covered rate.
The Chargers' CB trio of Asante Samuel, Ja'Sir Taylor and Michael Davis balled out in the preseason.
This is admittedly a very specific stat, but 18 plays isn't a small sample size. Depending on game flow, that could account for an entire half of preseason football for an offense, and Samuel Jr., Taylor and Davis displayed perfect coverage on all of them.
This accomplishment just speaks to the depth of the Chargers' cornerback room. While Samuel and Davis are expected to start alongside Jackson and Bryce Callahan, Taylor is quickly proving he belongs as a sixth-round pick out of Wake Forest.
All told, it's not a huge surprise Samuel and Davis were lights-out in the preseason. Though he's just a second-year player, Samuel developed a penchant for making splash plays as a rookie with 11 passes defended and seven breakups.
Davis, meanwhile, followed his career year in 2020 with 12 passes defended, two fumble recoveries and allowing just a 55% completion rate over a whopping 80 targets last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
No one's going to site here and pretend that the Chargers being without Jackson against the Raiders and Chiefs wouldn't be a huge disadvantage.
Having said that, Davis and Samuel Jr. are another year along in their respective developments, Callahan is the team's best slot cornerback in years and Taylor holding his own in his first preseason action bodes well for his future even if he struggles out of the gates as a rookie.
This isn't the Chargers of old, folks.
Los Angeles pushed all their chips to the center of the table this offseason and improving the secondary was clearly first on a long list of priorities that included bolstering the pass rush and improving the offensive line.
This preseason stat is just a testament to that.