The LA Chargers battled with a long list of injuries in 2022 but the team was still able to win 10 games and make the playoffs. Heading into 2023, the hope was that the Chargers could stay healthier and make another run at the playoffs.
That has not been the case thus far for the Bolts. Mike Williams is out for the year, Austin Ekeler missed several games, Justin Herbert is dealing with a fractured finger and now, Joshua Palmer has been put on the injured reserve with a knee injury.
Injuries happen in football and sometimes a team is simply a victim of bad luck. There was no way to predict or prevent Williams tearing his ACL in Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings. It just happened.
However, there are other times when a team mismanages an injury and makes the situation worse than it needs to be. Typically, a team always being bitten by the injury bug is a sign of this mismanagement. That is the case with the Chargers, who have once again shot themselves in the foot.
Chargers putting Joshua Palmer on IR highlights another injury mismanagement disaster
There is no one to blame but the Chargers for Palmer hitting the IR. Palmer missed practice leading up to the team's Sunday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears in Week 8. He was determined a game-time decision and the Chargers ultimately gave him the green light.
If there was ever a game for the Chargers to be cautious it was against the Bears. Chicago, with Tyson Bagent under center, is the least-talented team in the league. The Chargers did not need Palmer to play against the Bears to win the game. That was evident by the final outcome.
Yet the team (and Palmer) decided to push it and made Palmer active. He aggravated the knee injury in the first quarter and came back into the game later in the night. Again, this wasn't a playoff game or a close game. This was a game against a bad Bears team.
And now the Chargers have to lay in the bed that they have made for themselves. Palmer is going to miss at least four games and the Bolts are going to have to pray that Quentin Johnston can step up. Hopefully, 31-year-old Keenan Allen doesn't suffer any kind of injury that takes him out of action.
This is not the first time the Chargers have mismanaged an injury and it probably won't be the last. This isn't quite as bad as when the team played Mike Williams in a pointless Week 18 game, but it is right up there considering Palmer was already hurt and should have never played in the first place.