Within the 90-man rosters grinding through over-heated practices in preparation for a grueling 17-week season, there are players teams cannot afford to lose.
At Chargers camp Tuesday in Costa Mesa, one of those players, defensive end Joey Bosa, hobbled off the field never to return. Luckily for the Chargers, it seems as if it’ll only be temporary
Bosa, a Pro Bowl pass-rushing machine, hobbled off the field early during practice, left shoe in hand. He spent the remainder of the day in the medical tent. A Chargers spokesperson said Bosa had a foot injury and would continue to be evaluated, offering no other information. The Chargers don’t practice Wednesday.
According to a person familiar with the injury who is not authorized to speak publicly, the injury isn’t serious.
In two seasons, Bosa has established himself as one of the top players at his position, recording more sacks (19) than anyone in their first 20 NFL games.
If Bosa’s able to return quickly, it’ll be a rare stroke of good luck for a team accustomed to getting bad news when it comes to injuries. Before camp started, the Chargers had lost a pair of projected starters, tight end Hunter Henry (ACL tear) and cornerback Jason Verrett (Achilles).
Henry, set to replace Antonio Gates as the next great Chargers tight end, was injured in a non-contact drill during an offseason workout, costing him all of the 2018-19 season and causing the offense to make a massive adjustment.
Verrett’s injury wasn’t overly crippling to defensive plans since the Chargers have had to adjust to his absence the past two seasons because of knee injuries. Emotionally, though, it was difficult since Verrett had worked his way back to full health only to get hurt during a conditioning test on the eve of camp.
So far in training camp, the Chargers have dodged serious injury. Cornerback Trevor Williams, Verrett’s replacement, went down in pain last week and left on crutches, but his ankle sprain was determined to be not as serious as originally feared.
The Chargers will practice once more, on Thursday, before playing their preseason opener Saturday in Arizona against former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen and the Cardinals.
Depth chart released
In advance of Saturday’s game with the Cardinals, the Chargers released their first depth chart of the season — without any major surprises.
Second-year safety Rayshawn Jenkins is listed as a starter. First-round pick Derwin James is on the second-string defense along with rookie linebackers Uchenna Nwosu and Kyzir White.
Quarterbacks Cardale Jones and Geno Smith are both listed as second string behind Philip Rivers.
Caleb Sturgis, signed via free agency, is the starting kicker despite being in a battle with Roberto Aguayo. Both went six for eight during a kicking period Tuesday.
Free-agent pickup Virgil Green is listed as the starting tight end with Braedon Bowman as the backup.