The LA Chargers finally got in the win column in Week 3 with an exciting back-and-forth win over the Minnesota Vikings. However, even when the Chargers win, the team suffers a big loss that is going to impact the rest of the season.
Star receiver Mike Williams was tackled awkwardly in the second half of the game and had to be carted into the locker room with a knee injury. MRIs on Monday confirmed every Chargers fans' biggest fear as Williams tore his ACL and will be out for the remainder of the 2023 season.
This is a huge loss to the Chargers' receiver room and is going to force the likes of Joshua Palmer and Quentin Johnston to step up and play bigger roles this season. For Williams, this injury is going to impact more than just the 2023 season as well.
Mike Williams likely played his last game with the Chargers after tearing his ACL
Heading into the 2023 season it was expected that it would be the last year in Los Angeles for Williams and/or Keenan Allen. General manager Tom Telesco restructured the deals of Allen, Williams, Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa in the offseason. As a result, those four players take up over half of the team's cap in 2024.
Many assumed that the Chargers would then cut the veteran Mack to free up cap space as well as one of the two receivers. Allen has gotten off to a tremendous start (proving he still has it) while Williams will miss all but three games in 2023. Chances are the Chargers part ways with Williams after the 2023 season.
Williams has a $32.4 million cap hit next season in what would be the final year of his deal if the Chargers were to keep him. However, if the Bolts were to cut Williams they would free up $20 million in cap space. That now seems like a no-brainer.
Plus, the team drafting Quentin Johnston in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft almost guaranteed that the Chargers would go in this direction. Johnston wasn't just drafted to help this season's depth, he was drafted to take over a bigger role in his sophomore year. Now, he is going to have to play a bigger role in his rookie season as well.
Hopefully, Williams can have a smooth recovery and can prove to other NFL teams (if the Chargers do indeed cut him) that he can still be an impactful receiver worth a big contract.