Injuries are an inevitable part of the game of football. Every team has to deal with injuries throughout the season and it is how a team responds that makes them great. All that being said, the LA Chargers always seem to have worse luck than their peers throughout the league.
The 2022 season was filled with injuries for the Chargers and while most teams would have folded, the Bolts were able to persevere and make the playoffs. Fans were hopeful that the injuries would not follow the team in 2023 but so far they have.
Los Angeles is already dealing with unfortunate injuries as Mike Williams is out for the year and Corey Linsley has been put on the NFI list with a non-emergent heart-related issue. Once again, the Bolts have to deal with adversity and overcome it.
Thankfully, the early bye week actually came at a good time as it allowed the Chargers to get healthy. With an extra day of rest thanks to a Monday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Chargers will see several impactful players return to the fold in Week 6.
Injured Chargers players who are returning in Week 6 vs Cowboys:
Derwin James got banged up in the Chargers' Week 3 win over the Minnesota Vikings. James left the game in the fourth quarter and at the time, it did not seem like anything that would be overly serious or cause him to miss time.
However, James would not suit up for the Bolts in Week 4 as the team was also without Alohi Gilman and JT Woods. Despite that, the Bolts were able to put together the team's best defensive performance of the season (albeit against a bad rookie quarterback).
James has practiced leading up to Week 6 and told reported that he was "back". Expect him to make big plays against the Cowboys.
Austin Ekeler has not seen the field since Week 1 and it has had an impact on the Chargers offense. While the Bolts have still been able to piece together good offensive games, the offense has really missed the presence that Ekeler has out of the backfield.
The Chargers are going to be able to run the ball more against Dallas than they have in recent weeks and should see an improvement in the red zone as well. The Bolts have already jumped into being one of the best red-zone teams in the league, so Ekeler's return could be very dangerous for the Cowboys.
Donald Parham suffered a wrist injury early in the game against the Las Vegas Raiders and it looked extremely likely that he would miss time. He likely would have missed a game if the Chargers played in Week 5 but the bye ultimately saved him.
Parham has been a full participant in practice and should play. That is big news, as the Chargers' tight end room around him isn't the best.
Injured Chargers who likely won't return in Week 6:
Joey Bosa has not practiced at all for the Chargers leading up to Week 6 and it is safe to say that he won't play. Bosa hurt his hamstring in Week 1 and played on a snap count in Week 2 and Week 3 as a result. Bosa then didn't play in Week 4 and is now dealing with a toe injury.
The Chargers have been able to survive without Bosa as Khalil Mack had a six-sack game against the Raiders while Tuli Tuipulotu has been a legitimate game-wrecker.
Alohi Gilman also has not practiced for the Bolts this week and fans should not expect to see him out there. Thankfully, the Chargers got really great play out of the reserve safeties in Week 4, so the defense may be able to stay afloat without Gilman out there.