OCTOBER 26: The injury-riddled Bolts are expecting Williams to miss at least four games, Daniel Popper of The Athletic tweets. This could lead to an IR stay, though the team may go week-to-week while determining if Williams could beat that timetable.
OCTOBER 25: On the day the Chargers saw their highly regarded receiver tandem reunited, another injury took a toll at the position. Mike Williams suffered a high ankle sprain during Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).
Williams is expected to miss “some time” as a result of the injury, which will once again leave the Chargers shorthanded in the passing game. Keenan Allen suffered a hamstring injury in the season opener, and was only able to return to game action in Week 7. That led to optimism for the team’s offense, given the production both he and Williams have accounted for during their respective careers.
The latter had put up solid numbers in Allen’s absence this season, eclipsing the 100-yard mark three times so far. Overall, the 28-year-old has amassed 495 yards and three touchdowns, averaging the second-highest yards per game average of his career (70.7). That figure only ranks below that of 2021, his best season to date.
After eclipsing the 1,000-yard plateau for the second time, Williams signed a three-year, $60MM deal this offseason. That ended the possibility of him playing out the season on the franchise tag, and lines up his free agency with that of Allen. The Chargers are the only NFL team with two wideouts averaging $20MM per season, a fact which could become troublesome soon with a Justin Herbert extension potentially on the horizon.
This injury is likely to keep Williams sidelined for the longest stretch since his rookie campaign. A herniated disc threatened his availability in 2017, but the Clemson alum was ultimately able to suit up for 10 games. In the four years since then, Williams has missed a total of three games. Allen will assume a larger role in the team’s passing game, with Josh Palmer (who missed Sunday’s game) the next highest option on the depth chart.
Overall, Williams going down represents yet another blow to the Chargers on the injury front. The team is already without left tackle Rashawn Slater and edge rusher Joey Bosa for the foreseeable future, and lost high-priced cornerback J.C. Jackson for the season on Sunday. The team’s bye week will, on the other hand, give Williams the opportunity to minimize the number of contests he misses.