Already hit hard by injuries during the early part of the season, the Los Angeles Chargers are now bracing to be without two more key players for an extended period.
NFL.com reports left tackle Rashawn Slater is expected to miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his biceps tendon during the Chargers' 38-10 loss to Jacksonville on Sunday.
Additionally, head coach Brandon Staley said standout edge rusher Joey Bosa is week-to-week with a "significant" groin injury the four-time Pro Bowler sustained in Sunday’s defeat.
The Chargers entered the game already without top wide receiver Keenan Allen (hamstring), center Corey Linsley (knee) and cornerback J.C. Jackson (ankle), while quarterback Justin Herbert played through a rib injury he incurred during Los Angeles' Week 2 loss to AFC West rivals the Kansas City Chiefs.
Slater, the 13th overall pick of the 2021 draft, is coming off an excellent rookie season in which he started 16 games and allowed just two sacks as Herbert’s blindside protector to earn a spot in the Pro Bowl.
"Rashawn is an All-Pro player, he is one of the best tackles in the game," Staley said. "It’s going to be a tough loss for us, but we’re trying to make sure, over the next couple of days, that we put good contingencies in place, that we put a group out there that can really play together, give us a chance to be the offence that we’re capable of being."
Either Storm Norton or Trey Pipkins is expected to take over for Slater. Norton started 15 games at right tackle last season but was beaten out by Pipkins for that spot in training camp.
Bosa has been an impact pass rusher since entering the NFL as the third overall selection of the 2016 draft. The seventh-year veteran led the Chargers with 10.5 sacks in 2021, the fourth time he’s reached double digits in that category for his career.
"It’s part of the NFL. It’s an attrition league and you have to be ready for it," said Staley, whose team fell to 1-2 with Sunday’s loss. "For it to happen to high-profile players like we have, it’s not uncommon in the NFL. What you have to do is weather that storm and stay together."
Staley added that Allen is expected to practice this week and has a chance to return for Sunday’s game at Houston. The five-time Pro Bowl receiver has missed the Chargers’ last two games but was listed as questionable for the Jacksonville contest.