Nine of the 10 offensive linemen who started in Sunday’s game between the Chargers and Kansas City played every snap.
It could have been 10 of 10 if not for Joe Barksdale’s sudden exit on the Chargers’ third possession.
In an unexpected instant, Sam Tevi was lining up at right tackle.
“You’re always taking mental reps on the sidelines,” Tevi said. “You never know what’s going to happen during the game. You gotta be ready if you do get thrown in there.”
Tevi was thrown in there because of a knee injury to Barksdale, an injury that will keep him out Sunday against Buffalo and likely mean Tevi’s second career start.
A sixth-round pick in the 2017 draft, Tevi is “super athletic” in the estimation of quarterback Philip Rivers, whose continued good health is tied to the performance of those five men in front of him.
“He can run,” Rivers said. “He’s big and strong, and he’ll only get better with more and more reps, which he’s about to get all week in practice.”
Tevi appeared in 14 games during his rookie season and started at left tackle on Christmas Eve against the New York Jets because of a groin injury suffered by Russell Okung.
On Sunday, Tevi said he started slowly but performed better as the game moved on. Tevi was in for the final 67 of the Chargers’ 82 snaps.
Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt praised Tevi’s preparation, noting that it went back to that start against the Jets, the rookie readying with a greater sense of purpose.
“When you’re a young player and you know you’re not playing you have a tendency to drift and maybe not pay as much attention,” Whisenhunt said. “And all of a sudden you’re in there it’s like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ ”
Tevi should be in there again against the Bills, mental reps no longer a necessity for him.
Bosa is out
The Chargers officially ruled defensive end Joey Bosa (foot) out for Sunday. He has been diagnosed with a bone bruise and remains “week to week,” according to coach Anthony Lynn.
Isaac Rochell is expected to start for the second consecutive week in Bosa’s place.
Bosa visited a specialist Wednesday, the exam confirming there was nothing more significantly wrong with the foot he injured last week.
“It’s always good that it wasn’t something worse,” Lynn said. “We’d love to have him back. But we’re not going to put him out there before he’s ready.”
Lynn explained that the Chargers will remain cautious with Bosa in hopes the problem won’t linger too far into the season. Because of a separate injury to the same foot, Bosa missed all four preseason games.
Wide receiver Travis Benjamin (foot) and cornerback Craig Mager (hamstring) also didn’t practice Thursday. Wide receiver Tyrell Williams (groin) was a full participant.
Rookie defensive lineman Justin Jones was in on three tackles against the Chiefs in his NFL debut.
His performance was particularly notable because an ankle injury limited him for much of training camp. Jones, a third-round draft choice, didn’t play at all in the preseason. He was in for 24 of 56 defensive snaps Sunday.
“Justin did well,” Lynn said. “He did a lot better than I thought [he would] … We just threw him in the fire, said ‘We gotta get him going sooner or later.’ He responded well.”