Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Los Angeles Chargers will be without versatile defensive back Jaylen Watkins for the 2018 season.
Watkins had to be carted from the Chargers’ second preseason game vs. Seattle, after fellow teammate Melvin Ingram fell onto him. After an MRI today, the worst outcome was confirmed, with Watkins suffering a torn ACL.
#Chargers S Jaylen Watkins suffered a torn ACL last night based on the initial tests, source said. Tough loss for LAC, as Watkins was having a strong preseason and started for them last night.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 19, 2018
The 26-year-old was signed by the team early in the offseason, tying him down to a one-year contract. He was brought in to provide depth in the secondary. He has had previous experience at corner and safety, in his career.
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With the Chargers bringing first-round pick Derwin James on slowly, there has been an open competition for the free safety position. Watkins gave an impressive showing, after the team giving him his first start in the lineup. He looked to have got the edge over Rayshawn Jenkins, so the Chargers are losing a key player.
Watkins, a Super Bowl winner with the Philadelphia Eagles, is likely to join CB Jason Verrett and TE Austin Roberts, on the team’s injury reserve list. Hunter Henry, who also tore his ACL, is on the Physically Unable to Perform list, giving himself a slim chance of returning this year.
Not all is lost as the Los Angeles do have potential in-house options to replace Watkins. The aforementioned James and Jenkins, will now be in pole position. Jenkins got most of the playing time in the first exhibition game, appearing with the first and second team. Additionally, the Chargers could move Jahleel Addae over the the free side.
– Thomas Herd is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter