After a tough loss, it is hard to look forward, but that is what Chargers coach Brandon Staley is telling his team. It was a close game in which this team played tough against a Super Bowl contending San Francisco 49ers team, no matter the injuries.
Now they must face another in Kansas City.
“Regardless of the circumstance, we’re going to be a connected team and a tough and rugged team that is going to try and figure it out,” Staley explained. “I like the way that looked last night in that way. We make no excuses. That’s how the whole season has been for us. When I say, ‘No excuses,’ we’re not really trying to go in that direction, in terms of our mindset.
“Our mindset is, ‘Are we playing to the standard of the L.A. Chargers?’ Then, are we figuring it out the best way we know how? I thought last week, with that group, we really had a good gameplan. I thought our guys really took the field and executed it, for the most part, and that’s what we need to take away moving forward to Kansas City.”
There were several injuries after the loss to the 49ers. Staley announced Monday that defensive tackles Christian Covington and Otito Ogbonnia suffered a potentially season-ending injury.
Covington tore his pec, Staley mentioned he might have a chance to return but “most likely, he is done for the season.” Ogbonnia’s rookie year is over with a patella tendon rupture.
They currently have three on the roster but will add Joe Gaziano when they put the other two players on I.R. There are numerous ways the Chargers can go to add defensive line help.
The Chargers could search free agency for a defensive tackle with former players Isaac Rochell and Linval Joseph being available. There is also Ndamukong Suh, who isn’t the player he once was, but maybe he has a little left in the tank. They could also look at other teams’ practice squads.
“I think we’re trying to mine the entire NFL and try to find the best fits,” Staley said. “Maybe, we have relationships at certain places or maybe they’ve played in certain styles that are similar to ours and try to leverage all of your relationships to make good decisions, and bring guys in here that are healthy, that are ready to play football, and you feel like can contribute at a winning level.”
There is some good news potential for the team. Staley said that wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams will be back at practice this week. It is unknown if either will play until Friday or Sunday evening.
The offense has missed their production and facing a high-powered team like Kansas City, they could use all the help they can get. They also had tight end Gerald Everett leave the game early with a groin injury. Staley said he will be back at practice this week.
After some of the injuries the Chargers have faced in the first half of the season, they could use reinforcements, especially when Allen and Williams have played so well against Kansas City.
It will be their second game in a row under the bright lights, so regardless if they get players back, Staley expects his team to fight.
“I’ve seen our team respond time and time again this season and answer the challenge that’s in front of them,” Staley said. “There’s a long time between now and Sunday night. We have to get our rest, and we have to have a really good week of practice. Games like this, just like last night, when you play some of the best teams in the league, it brings out the best in you.”
Nuts N’ Bolts
- Staley said quarterback Justin Herbert and linebacker Kenneth Murray both passed concussion testing. Also, edge rusher Chris Rumph will return to practice this week.
- Staley also mentioned that tight end Donald Parham Jr. is still a ways away from returning, but running back Joshua Kelley is “trending positive.”
- Kicker Dustin Hopkins is one week away from being able to practice. Right tackle Trey Pipkins is day-to-day with the knee injury.