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Chargers’ Joey Bosa, still in concussion protocol, is doubtful for Raiders game

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa is pictured against the Broncos on Nov. 1, 2020, in Denver.
Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa is shown in Sunday’s 31-30 loss to the Broncos in Denver. He left the game to be evaluated for a concussion and remains in the NFL’s protocol.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Ending an eight-game losing streak in the AFC West didn’t get any easier for the Chargers on Friday.

The team officially designated Joey Bosa as doubtful for Sunday against Las Vegas as the star defensive end remains in concussion protocol.

The Chargers also could be without No. 1 cornerback Casey Hayward, who missed practice Friday for reasons not related to an injury.

Coach Anthony Lynn said he could provide no details on Hayward, calling it “a fluid situation.”

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Bosa, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, has played through triceps, ankle and knee injuries this year. He has not missed a game since returning from a foot injury midway through the 2018 season.

The Chargers hope to quiet the chaos entering the second half of the season when they take on the Las Vegas Raiders.

He leads the team with 4½ sacks and 13 quarterback hits. Bosa has 18 total tackles and has been an emerging force against the run.

Adding to the Chargers’ issues, the backups for Bosa and Hayward are questionable for Sunday. Defensive end Isaac Rochell has a neck problem and cornerback Brandon Facyson missed practice Friday because of an illness.

The Chargers lost last weekend when Denver went 81 yards in 14 plays to score the deciding touchdown after time expired. Bosa and Hayward, who had a calf injury at the time, were not on the field for that final drive.

The mounting absences likely will require the Chargers to dip into their practice squad Saturday.

Defensive end Jessie Lemonier is one option. He has appeared in three games this season, mostly playing special teams. Lemonier played a combined seven defensive snaps against Tampa Bay and New Orleans.

Lynn mentioned Quenton Meeks as a possibility at cornerback. A former Stanford Cardinal, he appeared in eight games — with one start — for Jacksonville in 2018. Meeks has spent time on the Chargers’ practice squad thelast two seasons.

“I told these guys that every man on this roster is going to play at some point,” Lynn said. “If we have to flex those guys up, we will.”

The Chargers’ secondary has been scrambled by injury going back to the loss of safety Derwin James in training camp.

Veteran slot corner Chris Harris Jr. went down with an injured foot in Week 3. At the time, Harris suggested on social media that he would miss a month.

Sam Farmer makes his picks and predictions for Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season.

The Chargers traded defensive back Desmond King on Monday to Tennessee in exchange for a sixth-round pick.

Without King, Tevaughn Campbell, a little-used former CFL player, is expected to take over at slot corner. Campbell played extensively there last week.

Nasir Adderley, in his second season having missed most of last year because of a hamstring problem, has struggled to find consistency at free safety. He’s coming off a particularly rough game against the Broncos.

The Chargers brought back veteran safety Jahleel Addae in September. After appearing on special teams for one game, he has played 39 defensive snaps the last two weeks but is questionable for Sunday because of a hamstring injury.

Like Bosa, running back Troymaine Pope, who gained a career-high 67 yards last week, remains in concussion protocol and is doubtful to play against Las Vegas.

His absence could result in Kalen Ballage being promoted from the practice squad. A fourth-round pick in 2018, Ballage has appeared in games for Miami and the New York Jets. The Chargers signed him last month.

Starting right guard Trai Turner (groin) was limited in practice all week and is questionable. He has been healthy enough to play in only one game.

Lynn said quarterback Tyrod Taylor would return against the Raiders to serve as Justin Herbert’s backup. The veteran has been out since Week 2 because of a rib injury and a punctured lung.

Herbert is sore, but ready

One ailment that apparently won’t impact the Chargers’ lineup Sunday is the sore right shoulder that put Herbert on the injury report this week.

He didn’t miss any practice time, Lynn explaining that the rookie did receive treatment.

Given the impressive way he has started his NFL career, Herbert’s inclusion on the report was particularly notable.

“I wouldn’t read too much into it,” Lynn said. “He’s just sore, like 99% of these other guys right now.”

Just kickin’ it

After missing a field goal and an extra point in consecutive games, Michael Badgley rebounded last weekend to hit field goals of 52, 47 and 33 yards and all three of his extra points.

“Things like that are going to happen,” Badgley said Friday. “You just missed a couple kicks. Move on. There’s going to be more kicks, whether it’s kicks in that game or kicks down the line.”

Coach Anthony Lynn says the Chargers might simplify some defensive schemes to avoid late-game collapses before taking on Las Vegas this weekend.

In his third season, Badgley is 12 for 16 on field goals and 17 for 19 on extra points. One of his field goal misses — from 50 yards against New Orleans — would have won the game as time ran out in regulation. The Saints won 30-27 in overtime.

More than the inaccuracy, Badgley said he was disappointed with the way he reacted.

“The thing that I was most angry about was my body language after a couple of those misses,” he said. “I saw it in film and I said, ‘That ain’t me. That’s not how we usually do it.’ That’s the only thing that irritated me.”


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