San Diego Chargers first-round pick Mike Williams has downplayed his back injury in recent weeks, but it is apparently bothering him enough that he will not be able to take part in training camp.
On Sunday, the Chargers announced that Williams will be held out of training camp as he continues to recover from the disc injury he suffered in his first practice with the team.
Chargers announce 1st-round pick Mike Williams is expected to miss training camp with back injury. pic.twitter.com/0BB5J46NGC
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 30, 2017
San Diego selected Williams, a former star wide receiver at Clemson, with the No. 7 overall pick in the draft. A previous report from Schefter indicated that Williams could need season-ending back surgery, but Williams denied it.
If Williams can get healthy in time for preseason play, he will be competing with Dontrelle Inman, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin, and Keenan Allen on the Chargers’ wide receiver depth chart.
The Los Angeles Chargers had their first official day in L.A. on Saturday, and were greeted by one of the city’s sports icons.
Kobe Bryant greeted the team on their first full day of activities, addressing the group as well after their move from San Diego.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) July 29, 2017
Bryant has been quiet, but busy lately, with his numerous business ventures and most definitely not influencing Kyrie Irving. Perhaps his stamp of approval will be at least a little bit helpful for a Chargers team whose move to Los Angeles has been greeted with skepticism.
The Los Angeles Chargers have a new backup quarterback.
The Buffalo Bills confirmed Wednesday that they have traded quarterback Cardale Jones to the Chargers in exchange for a conditional 7th-round draft pick.
The 24-year-old has only attempted 11 passes in the NFL and was in danger of being released by the Bills, who no longer needed him. It was a fairly significant fall from grace for a guy who was reportedly looked at as a possible starter under Buffalo’s previous regime. It is worth noting, however, that Chargers coach Anthony Lynn worked with Jones in Buffalo and was a fan.
Cardale Jones reuniting with Anthony Lynn, who said last year the young QB is the kind of prospect "you want waiting on the runway."
— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) July 26, 2017
The Chargers have clearly been seeking a backup option at quarterback, as they worked out Robert Griffin III earlier in the week. Jones probably isn’t the anointed successor to 35-year-old Philip Rivers, but he’s there just in case something happens.
The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers are eventually going to be playing home games in a brand new stadium, but they will have to wait a year longer than they initially expected to start enjoying it.
On Thursday, the Rams wrote an email to season ticket holders informing them that the team will continue to call the Coliseum home through the 2019 season. Their new venue in Inglewood was supposed to open in the summer of 2019, but that has been pushed back a year due to the heavy rain that fell in Southern California throughout the winter.
Rams announce delay until 2020 for Inglewood stadium opening. Team will stay at Coliseum through 2019. pic.twitter.com/DKw3qGr3di
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) May 18, 2017
That likely means the Chargers will be spending three full seasons at a shockingly small stadium, though they could decide to relocate to a different temporary home if demand for tickets gets high enough.
The land development in Inglewood, which is owned by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, will feature a stadium, practice facilities, restaurants, shops and more. There has even been talk of the L.A. Clippers playing in the same stadium. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has decided that everyone needs to be patient.
Different teams are looking for different things at the NFL Draft. Contenders often like depth and potential replacements for aging veterans. Middle-of-the-road teams can seek to fill some of their more glaring needs, while teams near the top of the draft may just be searching for the best talent available.
There are a select few teams, however, that do an outstanding job of drafting players that have a chance to make an immediate impact. That doesn’t just mean in the first round, either, as teams can find value players and potential starters in the middle rounds as well.
Here are five teams in particular that did an outstanding job across all rounds finding players who could be capable of coming in, starting immediately, and making their team better from the very first day of camp.
5) Los Angeles Chargers
No. 7 overall pick Mike Williams may not fill a glaring need for the Chargers, but it will make quarterback Philip Rivers a happy man. The big Clemson receiver provides a physical target to complement Keenan Allen. Rivers will be even happier that the next two picks were offensive linemen.
The Chargers managed to get guard Forrest Lamp, regarded by some as the best offensive lineman in the draft, with the 38th overall pick. He should walk in and start from day one, and third-round selection Dan Feeney could well claim the other starting guard spot as well. Don’t be surprised if fifth-round pick Desmond King makes his mark at the safety position, either. He could prove to be a steal.
Los Angeles did quite well adding talent on both sides of the ball.
4) Indianapolis Colts
For a second consecutive season, Joey Bosa is missing a portion of the San Diego Chargers’ offseason training program. Last year, his absence had to do with not having signed a rookie contract until late August. This time around, Bosa simply prefers to work with his own guy.
Bosa, who missed the first several weeks of the season last year due to a hamstring injury, has decided to work with an anonymous personal trainer this spring.
“I just found a guy who really knows what he’s talking about and my body changed in ways I could never have imagined last year,” he said Tuesday, per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “Pain in certain parts of my body that I’ve had chronically for years and years was suddenly gone after going through this process and this program. After that and after the year I had last year, I saw no reason why I would ever change what I’m doing.
“I wanted to continue with it.”
If the Chargers had to choose between Bosa doing his own thing or missing the first month of the season again, that would not be a difficult decision. That’s probably why the former Ohio State star says he has received the blessing of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive line coach Giff Smith.
“They trust me. All the guys on the team, you could ask them if I’m out there sitting on the couch or if I’m working,” Bosa said. “But, it is voluntary. I think when it comes to your body, you have to do what you think is right. It’s nothing against the team. It’s just what I think is right for my body.”
New Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said previously that he would be pleased if all of his players attended voluntary workouts, but he insists he holds no ill will toward Bosa.
“He’s one of the hardest working guys on the football team,” Lynn said. “I’m not worried about his conditioning or anything like that.”
Bosa is not the first star player to skip voluntary workouts this offseason, and he won’t be the last. At the end of the day, there’s nothing teams can do about it. Even if “voluntary” doesn’t mean what it should, players have a right to do their own thing.
There appears to be growing momentum for the Los Angeles Chargers to add a younger quarterback who can serve as Philip Rivers’s heir apparent.
Coach Anthony Lynn is the latest to voice his belief that the Chargers need to find a long-term solution at the position.
“I think we do have to get a young quarterback on campus. We have to start developing someone because we have two veteran quarterbacks,” Lynn said at last week’s league meetings, via Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “Both of them are long in the tooth. I think they have some good years left in them — don’t get me wrong. But, you have to start thinking about down the line too.”
The Chargers have been floating this possibility for a while, and Rivers seems to understand what’s going on. Don’t be surprised to see the Chargers looking quarterback at some point in the NFL Draft.