It sounds like Joey Bosa may finally be ready to make his NFL debut on Sunday.
Bosa was a full participant in practice on Wednesday for the San Diego Chargers. That has Chargers head coach Mike McCoy saying the hope is Bosa will play.
Meanwhile, #Chargers first-round pick Joey Bosa (hamstring) was a full participant today, and Mike McCoy said the “hope” is that he debuts.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 5, 2016
One of Bosa’s defensive teammates is even more certain about the rookie’s status:
Brandon Mebane says Joey Bosa will make his debut this Sunday
— Jordan Carruth (@JordanCarruth) October 5, 2016
Bosa has not played since being selected by the Chargers No. 3 overall in the draft. He had a contract dispute with the team that kept him out of most of training camp, and then a hamstring issue prevented the former Buckeye from playing this season.
The Chargers sure could use Bosa when they face the Raiders on Sunday. It would be even better for them if Bosa could play cornerback too given the news on Jason Verrett.
Joey Bosa’s lengthy holdout will apparently cost him at least one game this season.
The San Diego Chargers first-round pick did not practice again on Wednesday and still has not appeared in pads with his team since signing his four-year deal.
The Mighty 1090’s Marty Caswell quoted Bosa as saying he was frustrated that he wouldn’t be playing on Sunday in the team’s season-opening game against the Chiefs.
Joey Bosa says he's feeling better (leg wasn't wrapped) Says it's "frustrating and annoying" he won't play Sunday but "it is what it is"
— Marty Caswell (@MartyCaswell) September 7, 2016
Earlier in the day, the Union-Tribune’s Michael Gehlken said it was “all but certain” Bosa would miss the game.
It appears all but certain Joey Bosa will miss Week 1. Not practicing today. If he played Sunday, would be his first time in pads as Charger
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) September 7, 2016
Bosa was the longest holdout among all rookies this season. The No. 3 overall pick out of Ohio State did not sign his rookie deal until Aug. 29. He has been battling tightness since joining the team.
Joey Bosa’s holdout has not left him in peak physical condition, and the San Diego Chargers are taking it slow as he returns to camp.
Bosa is said to be battling “tightness” and has yet to practice in pads, with the team content to move him along slowly.
Chargers DE Joey Bosa dealing with some "tightness," source said. Team easing him into action. Not practicing today. Yet to practice in pads
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) September 5, 2016
It’s no surprise that Bosa is not quite in peak shape after missing the entirety of preseason plus training camp. After a very public contract dispute, this probably won’t look great to Charger fans who already have a low opinion of their first round pick. It was simply unrealistic, though, to expect Bosa to be anywhere close to football shape after no camp.
No. 3 overall draft pick Joey Bosa can finally report to the San Diego Chargers.
The team announced on Monday that it has agreed to a four-year contract with the former Ohio State star, ending the longest rookie holdout since the current collective bargaining agreement went into place.
“We look forward to having Joey join us and getting him prepared as quickly as possible for the 2016 season,” general manager Tom Telesco said.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media shared some of the details of the agreement, noting that Bosa’s contract is fully guaranteed:
The #Chargers and Joey Bosa reached a 4-year, $25.8M contract, source said. He gets a $17M signing bonus. It's all fully guaranteed.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 29, 2016
The stalemate lasted far too long, and it’s unclear if Bosa will be ready for a big role at the start of the regular season after missing so much time. With the statement the Chargers released last week, it seemed like things had gotten very ugly. Ultimately something had to get done.
The San Diego Chargers have made it abundantly clear how they feel about first-round pick Joey Bosa and his holdout in recent days, and Bosa’s camp has made it no secret how they feel about the Chargers in return.
The back-and-forth has generated national headlines, but now it’s beginning to rub other NFL players the wrong way.
During a Thursday appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson delivered a blunt message to Bosa: enough with the nonsense, it’s time for you to get to work.
“At the end of the day, this is what you love to do — you love to play this game,” Jackson said. “We get compensated very well, so at some point you have to talk to your agent, talk to the powers that be and like ‘I want to play football, do whatever you can to get me into camp.’ You need to show up to camp.
“We all know you can’t flip a switch and, ‘OK, I’m going to get 10 sacks or I’m going to get this many tackles.’ You have to actually build a rapport with your teammates, build a rapport with your coaches. And understand this game plays at a different speed. It takes a different type of conditioning to get yourself prepared week-in and week-out. So, there’s a ton that goes into it.”
Jackson isn’t the first NFL star to step up and address Bosa’s situation, either. Earlier this month, then-free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie injected himself into the conversation, calling out Bosa and essentially telling him to man up and sign his contract.
On Thursday, former New York Giants cornerback Brian Witherspoon also addressed the Chargers-Bosa standoff, saying the highly-touted rookie must think he’s “bigger than the game.”
Joey Bosa is a prime example of a player thinking that he's a gift to a game that's a privilege to play. You're not bigger than this game.
— Brian Witherspoon (@Spoony29) August 24, 2016
The longer this situation lingers, the more and more likely we are to see other NFL players chime in. And with each passing day, the critical comments will become more personalized.
One of the big questions about the Joey Bosa holdout has been how his would-be Chargers teammates will react to him if he ever does sign. Those in the locker room contend, however, that this won’t be an issue.
“We all want him here. When he is here, he is one of us,” coach Mike McCoy said, via Jeremy Bergman of NFL Media. “It’s the business side of it. We can’t wait for him to be here and help us win football games this year. … I promise you he’s working his tail off wherever he is. He’s a very talented player.”
Tight end Antonio Gates, meanwhile, said the team would be accepting of Bosa as soon as he set foot in the locker room.
Antonio Gates said Joey Bosa will be "welcomed with open arms" by Chargers players. Said it's a cardinal rule: Bolts support each other.
— Tom Krasovic (@SDUTKrasovic) August 25, 2016
Things have gone very bad very publicly for Bosa and the Chargers, but it sounds like the players will at least be welcoming of Bosa – assuming he signs, that is.
The stalemate between the San Diego Chargers and top pick Joey Bosa has gone very public and has the potential to get very ugly.
Bosa turned down the latest offer from the Chargers, with the two sides “nowhere,” according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Chargers proposed to Joey Bosa what they made clear is their best offer, source says. It was declined. Offer pulled. Two sides are nowhere.
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) August 24, 2016
The Chargers quickly released a statement that essentially threw Bosa under the bus big time.
Statement from the San Diego Chargers on defensive end Joey Bosa. pic.twitter.com/BayBGeN22x
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) August 24, 2016
Bosa certainly won’t be ready for the season now, and this has grown downright toxic. The team clearly feels they’ve given Bosa more than a fair offer, while Bosa reportedly feels that he’s been disrespected by the Chargers. No end appears to be in sight, and neither party, particularly Bosa, seems to be doing themselves any favors.