The LA Chargers will likely be without Rashawn Slater for the rest of the season and in his place, the team has turned to rookie Jamaree Salyer. Salyer, taken in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, was never expected to be available that late and seemed like a great pickup at the guard position at the time.
However, Salyer had tackle experience at Georgia and after Slater went down and Storm Norton played terribly, it became clear that the team had to take its chance on Salyer at left tackle.
The rookie offensive lineman took the challenge in stride as he came in and turned in an elite game against a pretty good Houston pass rush. Salyer earned over a 90 pass-blocking grade on Pro Football Focus and did not allow a single pressure on Justin Herbert. It was a better game than anyone could have expected.
Salyer may get a much bigger test in Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns, though, as a certain star pass-rusher has returned to practice this week.
Myles Garrett might be playing against the LA Chargers.
Myles Garrett was involved in a car accident on September 26 that injured his shoulder and biceps. As a result, Garrett missed the Browns' Week 4 game against the Atlanta Falcons, with an initial timetable to return of 1-3 weeks.
However, Garrett returned to practice on Wednesday for the Browns, signaling that he might be able to play on Sunday against the Chargers. Garrett was listed as a limited participant in the practice, with Kevin Stefanski not committing either way to his Week 5 status.
This is obviously a huge step up in competition for Salyer and it will be interesting to see how he holds up against one of the very best in the game. It is almost a guarantee that the rookie will get beat a few times by the elite edge rusher, as Garrett also does that against the best of the best.
Nobody should expect a perfect game from Salyer or be disappointed if he allows a number of pressures against Garrett. But if he can battle for all 60 minutes and keep it from being a disaster, that is a big win in my book for the rookie who is only making his second start.
With Jadeveon Clowney likely missing the game, as well as Donald Parham likely returning, the Bolts can get some blocking help on the edge to make Salyer's life a bit easier. Cleveland also has had a pretty poor run defense this season, so we might see the Chargers pound the rock behind Zion Johnson and Trey Pipkins away from Garrett.
Regardless, this is a huge test for Salyer and even if it gets ugly at times during the game, it is only going to make him better for the rest of the season.