In a crucial Week 2 matchup against the Titans, the Chargers are facing the possibility of missing three key players who missed earlier practice sessions this week. This could significantly impact their chances of starting the 2023 season on the right note and avoiding an 0-2 record.
On Sunday, the Chargers will hit the road to face the Titans, and the absence of these star players on both offense and defense could prove detrimental to their performance.
The Chargers’ defensive unit, which already faced challenges, may become even thinner due to reports suggesting that their top-edge rusher and best linebacker are both uncertain for Sunday’s game in Tennessee.
On the offensive side of the ball, there’s additional concern as Austin Ekeler, known for his knack for scoring touchdowns, might be sidelined due to an ankle injury. This absence could make the task of securing a victory all the more challenging for the Los Angeles squad.
Joey Bosa’s performance, along with the entire defense, was lackluster in the previous game against Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins, failing to register a single sack. However, Bosa’s contributions are crucial for Brandon Staley’s defensive strategy, and his potential absence leaves a significant void.
Similarly, Eric Kendricks, who was acquired as a free agent to bolster the middle of the field, is another key player facing uncertainty. Kendricks’ absence could pose a substantial concern, especially considering the Titans’ receiving corps, which, while less talented, can still exploit the middle of the field.
In the event Ekeler is unable to play, Joshua Kelley will likely step into the lead back role. While Kelley performed well when Ekeler was previously sidelined with an ankle injury, he may struggle in an expanded role on Sunday, raising further questions about the Chargers’ offensive capabilities.
Overall, it appears that the burden of carrying the offensive load may fall heavily on Justin Herbert in what could potentially become a high-scoring contest, pitting Derrick Henry against the Chargers’ defense. Furthermore, the Chargers’ secondary, which has been struggling, faces the added challenge of containing DeAndre Hopkins if they intend to secure a victory this weekend.