Chargers' already-struggling secondary appears to be taking a huge blow in Week 4

Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers
Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages

The LA Chargers are off to a 1-2 start and are looking to get back to .500 right before the bye week with a win over the Las Vegas Raiders. A 1-3 record is by no means a death wish but if the Chargers cannot beat a team like the Raiders at home then they probably are not a playoff-caliber team.

Offensively the Chargers have been nothing short of fantastic this season. Justin Herbert has over 900 yards with no turnovers and Keenan Allen has turned the clock back five years. The biggest issues lie in the defense, which has allowed the fifth-most points per game this season.

Brandon Staley's secondary has been awful this season as the Bolts are allowing explosive passing plays at a much higher rate than any other team in the league. That is not the kind of form you want to be in when Davante Adams is coming to town.

Even worse, the already-struggling Chargers defense might be shorthanded on Sunday. No game statuses have been made official but neither Derwin James nor Alohi Gilman practiced for a second consecutive day on Thursday.

Chargers are in real trouble if Derwin James and Alohi Gilman can't play in Week 4

Again, nothing is official but if the two players both didn't practice on back-to-back days with their respective injuries then it probably is not a great sign about their chances of playing. As of right now, the Chargers need to prepare for life without Gilman and James and if they get back in time for Sunday it will just be an added bonus.

Either way, the Bolts are in real trouble if neither safety can play. This secondary has already been toast this season and the two safeties are the only bright spots. Replacing them would be J.T. Woods and Raheem Layne, both of which are unproven and have not looked great in the limited chances they have been given.

Vegas does not have amazing quarterback play that is going to take advantage of this like Patrick Mahomes would but that almost makes it worse. Los Angeles finally has a decent quarterback matchup that will end up not matter if James and Gilman do not play.

It is just one thing after another for this Chargers team and we are less than a month into the 2023 season. The offense is likely going to have to step up yet again as it is hard to see the defense doing well considering the situation.