The bye week is a staple in every NFL team's calendar as it presents an opportunity to rest and regain focus for the rest of the season. The earliest a team can have a bye week in the 18-week NFL schedule is Week 5 while the latest is Week 14. The LA Chargers fall on the early end of that spectrum and have a Week 5 bye this season.
At first, this seemed like it was going to hurt the Chargers as it is traditionally more advantageous to have a bye week in the middle or late in the season. However, with a laundry list of small injuries piling up, the Chargers getting a bye this early is actually a blessing in disguise.
In addition to helping the Bolts, this early bye week actually has an impact on fantasy football as well considering how many difference-makers are on the Bolts offense. The Bolts are not alone, though, as there are several other teams that are joining the Chargers with an early week off.
Which NFL teams have a bye in Week 5?
In addition to the Chargers, the Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all have a bye week in Week 5. All four teams that have a Week 5 bye this season are playoff contenders, so it will be interesting to see how the early bye week impacts each team.
What happens to teams with a Week 5 bye?
Interestingly enough, the NFL has not handed out a Week 5 bye in each of the last two seasons even though the year got longer with an extra game. This is the first time that there have been teams with a bye week in Week 5 since the 2020 season.
Four teams had a bye week in Week 5 back in 2020. One out of the four teams ended up making the playoffs that season. The combined record for those four teams after the bye was 22-26 (.458). The teams combined for an 8-8 record (.500) before the bye, so there was a slight dip.
Chargers history with a Week 5 bye:
Since the NFL-AFL merger, the Chargers have had a bye week in Week 5 two other times in franchise history. The 2009 and 1994 Chargers both had a Week 5 bye. The 2009 Chargers were 2-2 at the bye week (like the 2023 Chargers) and finished with a 13-3 record. The team lost in the AFC Divisional Round.
The 1994 Chargers were 4-0 at the bye and finished the season with an 11-5 record. That team went on to make the only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, losing to the San Francisco 49ers.