The Chargers have announced the game status of each of their players that are on the team’s injury report.
Once again, the offensive line will be without major starters. Another starter on the O-line — that quite frankly shouldn’t play while dealing with an ongoing ankle issue — is listed as questionable.
- LT – King Dunlap (Concussion)
- CB – Craig Mager (Hamstring)
- DL – Darius Philon (Hip/Thigh)
- C/G – Chris Watt (Groin, Concussion)
- OLB – Tourek Williams (Foot)
- WR – Stevie Johnson (Hamstring)
- LG – Orlando Franklin (Ankle)
- RG – D.J. Fluker (Ankle)
- OL – Chris Hairston (Ankle)
- ILB – Manti Te’o (Ankle)
- OLB – Kyle Emanuel (Shoulder)
When looking at the depleted mess that is the offensive line in San Diego, two opening-day starters will not play in Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers (Dunlap, Watt), while both Franklin and Fluker are listed as questionable.
Franklin hasn’t played in two weeks after being carted off the field with an ankle ailment. Fluker has tried to gut out multiple contests while limping on, off and around the field. He is whom I mentioned above that it may have served him better to rest, allowing him to fully heal.
Just for kicks, reserve lineman Chris Hairston did not participate in practice on Wednesday or Thursday. He was a limited participant Friday. He has filled in decently, though it sure would be nice if he didn’t account for multiple penalties each time he sees game action.
The wide receiving corps will most likely be without Stevie Johnson again. Hamstring injuries are very tricky and players dealing with them should not be rushed back. Although it would obviously be great to have him available to play, the return of Gates can help alleviate some of the stress of him not playing.
The newest and biggest concern regarding the injured Chargers is the fact that Te’o did not practice in any kind of capacity this week. Despite leading the team in both total tackles and missed tackles, the third-year inside linebacker will be missed more than some would like to think. His replacement, second-round draft pick Denzel Perryman, will be asked to step in should Te’o not be able to play. Kavell Conner will see the field more often than he has recently, as well.
It will be interesting to see which player on the defense would then don the green-dot helmet with the defense’s communication device in it. Last ear it was free safety Eric Weddle. But with 2015 seemingly being Weddle’s last year with the team, the Bolts decided to give Te’o the honor this season.
One thing of note worth pointing out is that not one member of the Chargers’ secondary is on the injury report, save Mager. After Addae camped out there for the better part of a month and Flowers and Verrett took turns missing time, it is great to see the defensive-back unit of the Chargers’ defense healthy and ready to roll.
They need that health, and a bit of luck, as they are set to face one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, Aaron Rodgers.