The LA Chargers' Week 3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars was a house of horrors. Not only was the team thoroughly outplayed by the Jaguars but an already banged-up Bolts team suffered even more injuries to several star players.
The worst of which was to left tackle Rashawn Slater. Slater left the game in the second half with a biceps injury and was seen in a sling after the game. Chargers fans got the worst possible news on Monday, as it was reported that Slater ruptured his bicep tendon and will miss the entire 2022 season.
This is a massive blow for a Chargers team that is already dealing with so much and is in a 1-2 hole. Slater is probably the second-worst player that could suffer a season-ending injury, only behind Justin Herbert. There is absolutely no replacing what he brings to this team, especially considering his replacement, Storm Norton, has been horrendous.
The worst part about this is that the Chargers could have avoided this. The injury was a freak injury and they could not have avoided that, but they definitely could have avoided needing to rely on perhaps the worst tackle in the league to protect Justin Herbert's blind spot.
The LA Chargers had every chance to add tackle depth, and simply didn't.
All offseason one of the biggest holes that wAS brought up time and time again on the Chargers roster was right tackle. The team was obviously high on Trey Pipkins and trusted him to start. And quite frankly, that was fine. Pipkins hasn't been great by any means, but he has held his own.
But the team turned that confidence in Pipkins into an excuse to not add any tackle help at all in the offseason. Sure, the team should not have signed one of the expensive options, but to not address the position at all? What are we doing here?
Of course, the Chargers weren't operating with the hindsight that Slater would suffer a season-ending injury in Week 3. That being said, Pipkins was far from a sure-fire thing and there was absolutely a chance that he played poorly. And if that happened, the team's no. 1 replacement option was none other than Norton.
Making this worse is the fact that the Chargers have not even used their third and fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The team drafted JT Woods higher than every projection had him going because of his traits. Those traits take time to develop and Woods is essentially a complete nonfactor on this team in his rookie season.
Then the team took a running back earlier than they needed to in Isaiah Spiller, only to keep Spiller inactive in the first three weeks! The worst part? The Chargers are the worst running team in the entire league right now.
Los Angeles is instead handing the ball off to a guy who couldn't make another NFL roster in Sony Michel. Austin Ekeler is barely getting touches and Joshua Kelley, who rightfully won the job in the preseason, isn't touching the ball at all.
You know what the Chargers probably should have done with one of those mid-round picks? Take a tackle! I'll do you one better: the team could have taken a tackle in the third round, probably still take Woods in the fourth round and then not trade away their late-round picks and take a running back then.
This is so strange considering Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco have focused so much on building out a better offensive line to protect Justin Herbert. This was a massive oversight by the duo, and quite frankly, is incompetent roster building.