Despite making the playoffs for the first time since 2018, there is a sour feeling around Chargers fans heading into Saturday's Wild Card Round matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mike Williams was declared out on Friday and will miss several weeks with a fracture in his back.
This is a horrible look for Brandon Staley, who decided to not only play the starters in a meaningless Week 18 game but keep them in for an extended period of time. Now the Chargers are going to be without arguably their most important pass-catcher in Justin Herbert's first trip to the playoffs.
The Chargers can still beat the Jaguars without Mike Williams, the team is just going to need certain people to step up on offense for that to happen.
3 Chargers who absolutely must step up with Mike Williams out vs Jaguars:
1. Joshua Palmer
Next man up and Joshua Palmer is that next man. Unfortunately, the Chargers do not have much receiver depth at all as the team has ignored that portion of team building and it gets a bit bleak when you get passed Keenan Allen and Joshua Palmer.
Allen is going to have his contributions but it is up to Palmer to turn in a good game that can make up for the loss of Williams. We have seen Palmer step up in key spots earlier this season and the Bolts are going to need that to show up yet again.
Palmer is no Mike Williams, but he is the best option to directly replace Mike Will when it comes to the scheme and route tree. Fans just have to hope that the Chargers prepared for this reality and were not too confident in Williams playing in this game.