If the LA Chargers are going to make any kind of miracle run at the NFL Playoffs it has to start in Week 13 against the New England Patriots. While the odds are heavily stacked against the Chargers, the team could still technically win out and make the playoffs.
The Patriots are not the menacing force that Chargers fans thought they would be before the season. Instead, they are the worst team in the AFC and are a team that the Bolts should make quick work of, even on the road with Bill Belichick on the other sideline.
That mission becomes much more complicated if the Chargers are not at full strength, however. Los Angeles is already battling injuries and it looks like things are getting even worse as Wednesday's injury report dropped and is an absolute nightmare.
Keenan Allen, Rashawn Slater among many new additions to Chargers injury report
This is the type of long injury report that Chargers fans have grown accustomed to in recent years but this one specifically is troubling. Even if you have given up on the team as a fan, it is hard to ignore just how bad this could be for the Bolts.
We will start with the lesser of the two new injuries. Rashawn Slater was a limited participant with a back injury. Slater's chances of playing are still relatively high, as being limited early in the week is not the end of the world. If he doesn't play it will be a disaster, but as of right now, it is more likely that he does play.
The more concerning addition is Keenan Allen, who finds himself on the injury report for a new reason. Allen has not been practicing as much in the last two weeks because of a shoulder injury. This injury is completely new, however, as Allen did not participate at all on Wednesday because of a quadriceps injury.
Lower body injuries and 31-year-old wide receivers do not blend very well and if Allen was not able to practice at all on Wednesday then it is worth questioning whether or not he will be able to suit up on Sunday. If he was younger and had fewer miles on his body it might not be as big of a concern. But as receivers get older, nagging injuries like this take longer to heal.
If Allen does not play on Sunday then Justin Herbert is going to have one of the worst wide receiver groups of his career. It will consist of the not-so-dangerous Quentin Johnston, the speed threat coming off a torn ACL in Jalen Guyton, and a fourth-round gadget receiver in Derius Davis. The rest will be practice squad receivers.
With a running game that is non-existent and an offensive line that has struggled, the Chargers offense may fail to do much of anything against what is still a solid Patriots defense. Fans may have thought that Week 12 was rock bottom for the 2023 season, but it could actually be Week 13.