The injury bug has hit the San Diego Chargers all season long, and it will continue to wreak havoc on Sunday when the Chargers take on the Oakland Raiders in Qualcomm Stadium. Both Eric Weddle and Antonio Gates are injured. Weddle has already been ruled out for the contest and Gates is looking like a game time decision.
Even more troubling is the fact Keenan Allen is also banged up with a hip injury. He has practiced at a limited basis this week, but insists he will play on Sunday. All three of these injuries are from the teams week six loss to the Green Bay Packers. Just the latest injuries from a team that has been decimated all season.
The Chargers still have many more injury issues with Manti Te’o, Steven Johnson, Chris Hairston, Orlando Franklin and King Dunlap also banged up presently. Stevie Johnson intends on playing this weekend and there are positive reports about Dunlap, Franklin and Hairston. Te’o will miss his second game of the year with yet another foot/ankle injury. A troubling thing as Te’o has often had injury issues.
The health of the Chargers is improving on the offensive line but the defense is now banged up. Losing both Weddle and Te’o forces the team to go to a third captain on the defensive side of the ball. Denzel Perryman continues to impress and could eventually be the leader the Chargers need on defense. He is still young and needs to just play in order to gain respect of his fellow players.
Weddle’s groin injury will result in him missing his first game in six seasons. The Chargers might have to get used to not seeing their pro-bowl safety on the field. As Weddle is in the last year of his contract. He has said he intends to leave and it doesn’t look like the Chargers will try to retain him. At 30, Weddle’s play has suffered this season. He hasn’t played with the intensity of season’s past and it’s not clear if the contract issues are effecting him.
The loss of Weddle on Sunday could be critical for the Chargers as the Raiders passing game has improved from seasons past. Amari Cooper is a legit wide receiver and Jason Verrett will have his hands full in covering this first year wide out. Derek Carr has grown as a quarterback and the Chargers secondary will have to rally together without Weddle the teams defensive captain. Jahleel Addae, Darrell Stuckey and Jimmy Wilson will have their hands full. Adrian Phillips also could make an appearance on the field for the Chargers.
Antonio Gates and his MCL sprain is troubling for the Bolts. The team just got Gates back from suspension and losing him at this point could be horrific. Ladarius Green has the ability to fill in for Gates, but he could never replace the years of experience Antonio Gates brings to the table. Gates could still play, but he will be at less than 100 percent. The beat up Chargers face a must win this week at home against the Raiders. Hopefully the walking wounded can muster up enough energy to pull out the victory.