Chargers guard Oday Aboushi out for rest of season because of torn ACL

Chargers guard Oday Aboushi and guard Matt Feiler wait to take the field.
Chargers guard Oday Aboushi (76) and guard Matt Feiler wait to take the field before the team’s season opener against Washington on Sept. 12.
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

The Chargers lost right guard Oday Aboushi for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament Sunday.

Coach Brandon Staley said the veteran will have surgery.

In Aboushi’s absence, Michael Schofield III will move into the starting lineup. Schofield replaced Aboushi in the first quarter against Cleveland and finished the game.


Rookie Brenden Jaimes will serve as the backup guard. Staley suggested the Chargers also could look “elsewhere” for help.

Aboushi, 30, signed as a free agent in March and started the first five games on the Chargers’ rebuilt front. He played every offensive snap this season before being injured.

The Chargers weren’t thrilled with how they managed the clock at the goal line in the closing minutes of their win over the Cleveland Browns.

Oct. 11, 2021

Jaimes was a fifth-round pick from Nebraska. He was on the game-day roster to open the season but was recently replaced by Schofield after the Chargers signed the veteran in mid-September.

Staley spoke highly of Jaimes on Monday but said he needs more time to develop.

Staley said Schofield, who’s in his seventh season, is more valuable right now given the inexperience — rookie Rashawn Slater and Storm Norton (seven NFL starts) — the Chargers have at tackle.


“It’s not an ability issue right now for us,” Staley said of Jaimes. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, this guy’s not capable of playing in the NFL right now’ because that’s not the case. We just want to make sure that he’s ready full time.”

Don’t score!

The Chargers have won twice in three weeks by scoring late touchdowns when they would have benefited more from not scoring and killing valuable time.

At Kansas City in Week 3, Justin Herbert checked out of a running play and passed to Mike Williams for a four-yard score with 32 seconds remaining.

Bold play-calling by Chargers coach Brandon Staley and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was key to the Chargers’ victory over the Browns.

Oct. 10, 2021

Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi explained later that he should have been more clear with Herbert about running the ball to prevent the Chiefs from getting a last shot on offense.

On Sunday, Austin Ekeler was dragged into the end zone by several Cleveland defenders with 1:31 to go when the play called for him to go down short of the goal line.

Ekeler admitted his mistake after the game, saying he was too “greedy.” As with Lombardi, head coach Brandon Staley said Monday he could have been more precise with Ekeler.

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) is dragged into the end zone by the Brown defense.
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) was dragged into the end zone by the Browns defense so the Cleveland offense would get the ball one more time.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

“We got to do a better job of explaining that because Austin’s a stud,” Staley said. “It’s certainly something that I need to do a better job managing.”

With the play originating at the three-yard line, Staley said Ekeler was supposed to move forward until “he gets to the traffic” and then surrender himself by taking a knee.

The Chargers also could have had Herbert take a knee instead of handing off. But Staley explained that — based on analytics — there’s an important reason to advance the ball in that situation.

“What we didn’t want to do is go backward because that actually decreases your win probability,” he said. “What we wanted to do was go forward and take a knee … because that increases your odds of winning.”

As it turned out, the Chargers got away with scoring too soon against both the Chiefs and Browns when last-second “Hail Mary passes” fell incomplete.

Slater power

Slater continued to impress Sunday despite being called for a false start and giving up a sack.

Ekeler said the rookie left tackle asked teammates to stop giving him help, even when he was blocking Myles Garrett, one of the NFL’s top pass rushers.

“He actually didn’t want us to chip because it was like helping them,” Ekeler said. “We were bumping guys off of him.”

Chargers coach Brandon Staley says his team has star power all over roster, and winning wit eye-catching play is something L.A. loves ... like the ‘Showtime’ Lakers.

Oct. 11, 2021

A first-round draft pick, Slater has allowed two sacks and 10 pressures on 243 pass-block snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

“Rashawn felt like, ‘Hey, I can block this guy. I can block this guy man-to-man,’” Staley said. “What you’re seeing is a player that is earning the confidence to say that because he’s got a lot of belief in his game.”

Staley said he was pleased Slater spoke up because it also showed the rookie’s growing trust in the communication system the Chargers have established.

“I’m excited that we were able to get that done for him because that’s what you want,” Staley said. “You want your players put in positions where they can succeed. He felt like that was going to be the best position for him to be successful.”