Heading into the 2018 offseason, Los Angeles Chargers were hyped as one of the most dangerous teams. Following a 0-4 start in 2017, the Chargers won nine of their last 12 games to close out the season, barely missing out on a playoff spot.
However, due to free agency subtractions and injuries, the Chargers have lost some key pieces to their 2018 campaign. But which pieces will prove to be the most detrimental to their overall play? Let’s take a look at three players the Chargers will miss next season.
A former pro bowl cornerback, who has been cursed with the injury bug throughout his career, many were excited to finally see the deadly duo of Verrett and Hayward give quarterbacks a fit. Before Verrett began his battle with injuries, Pro Football Focus had him graded as a top 10 cornerback, in the NFL. However, on the first day of training camp, Verrett tore his Achilles rendering him useless for the remainder of the season. A loss that most people describe as “devastating” to the Chargers season, I don’t see this as too big of a deal.
As I’ve said multiple times, this isn’t the first time the Chargers have had to endure life without Verrett. He has been injured the majority of his career. In fact, Los Angeles’ secondary seems to thrive even without Verrett. Last year, undrafted cornerback Trevor Williams proved that he can fill Verrett’s void, and do it at a high level. Graded as the 10th best cornerback in 2018, Williams flourished playing opposite all-pro cornerback, Casey Hayward. So, although it’s unfortunate Verrett’s career has been filled with injuries, losing him on the field shouldn’t prove to be a problem for Los Angeles’ defense.
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Taken with the 35th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Chargers drafted Henry in preparation for life without Antonio Gates. Through his first two years in the league, Henry proved to be an incredibly efficient talent that the Chargers failed to properly utilize. Just by simply watching the games, you could tell the Chargers’ offense was much more explosive and fluid when Henry was on the field in turn of Gates. It was this explosiveness and catching ability that caused the Chargers to move on from Gates entirely as they cut him following their 2017 season. However, during the first team activity of the summer, Henry tore his ACL which will force him to miss the entirety of the 2018 season.
It was also announced early Sunday evening that fellow tight end Austin Roberts suffered an ACL injury and will also miss the season. Both tragic injuries, Los Angeles has no other choice than to sign Gates back and simply deal with the slow and sluggish downgrade.
– Travis Baker is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @SportsFollower0