Derwin James

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/15/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: S Derwin James; James remains on IR

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Waived: CB Brandon Williams

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chargers’ Mike Pouncey To Miss Time?

Chargers center Mike Pouncey missed practice this week with a hip injury, and he’s likely to also miss the season opener against the Bengals, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The severity of the injury isn’t immediately clear, but history suggests that this could be another long recovery for the four-time Pro Bowler. 

[RELATED: Chargers, Keenan Allen Agree On Extension]

Pouncey’s hip limited him to just five games in 2016 and clearly hindered him in 2017, his final year with the Dolphins. In 2018, his first year with the Chargers, he was back to his usual self. Starting in all 16 games, Pouncey was named to his first career Pro Bowl. Then, last year, a neck injury shut him down after just five games.

At one point, doctors advised Pouncey that he would eventually need hip replacement surgery. Hopefully, that day never comes. At minimum, Pouncey is hoping to stave off anything major until later in life. Last year, Pouncey re-upped with the Chargers on a one-year, $9MM extension. After 2020, he’ll be out of contract and eligible for free agency.

The Bolts are already without star safety Derwin James, so they’ll have to get by without some of their best talent on both sides of the ball. After passing on interior offensive lineman in this year’s draft, the Chargers may look to slide Dan Feeney from left guard to center.

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Chargers’ Derwin James Out For Year

Derwin James‘ season is over. The Chargers safety will need 6-8 months of recovery time following meniscus surgery, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. On Wednesday morning, the Chargers made it official by placing James on injured reserve.

[RELATED: Chargers Not Pursuing Earl Thomas]

James went down with a knee injury during Sunday’s practice and the Bolts knew immediately that it was serious. There was some hope that James could have gotten by with a trim of the meniscus, which would have kept him out until October. Unfortunately, he’ll require a full repair, which will necessitate a full season on the sidelines.

James, the No. 17 overall pick in the 2018 draft, registered three interceptions, 13 passes defensed, and 3.5 sacks as a rookie in 2018. Since that debut – which earned him a First-Team All-Pro nod – James has been plagued by injuries. Last year, a stress fracture to the fifth metatarsal of his right foot limited him to just five games. Now, James has lost his entire would-be third season.

The Chargers will now evaluate their in-house options to replace James, a group that includes Desmond King, Alohi Gilman, and 2019 second-round pick Nasir Adderly. Naturally, the Bolts were instantly connected to free agent Earl Thomas on Sunday afternoon, but head coach Anthony Lynn says he’s not interested. On the plus side, the Chargers still have plenty of talent in their secondary thanks to Casey Hayward, Desmond King, and new arrival Chris Harris.

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Chargers’ Derwin James Suffers Knee Injury 

Chargers safety Derwin James suffered a meniscus injury during practice on Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Bolts are awaiting word on his tests, but they’re expecting to be without James for a significant period of time. 

James’ timetable will largely depend on the severity of the tear and his personal choice on how to address it. A meniscus trim would sideline James for approximately one month. A full repair of the meniscus would take several months to heal and likely rule him out for the year.

Unfortunately, this is familiar territory for the promising young safety. Last August, James suffered a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. That injury kept him off the field until November, limiting him to just five games in 2019. That was hardly the encore James expected. As a rookie in 2018, the No. 17 overall pick posted three interceptions, 13 passes defensed, and 3.5 sacks. For his efforts, Pro Football Focus graded James as the league’s seventh-best safety and he also garnered a first-team All-Pro nod.

If James opts for a full repair, it’s possible that the Chargers could consider free agent Earl Thomas. Thomas played for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in Seattle, and Bradley sees some similarities between the two players.

Normally, I don’t like to compare guys, but he’s unique because he has the speed of a corner. He has the athleticism to make plays in space. He can play in the box. He’s a good rusher. I see some of those traits in [James],” Bradley says of James last December (via Sports Illustrated). “I see a guy that can cover a lot of field like Earl Thomas, can cover a lot of ground. So, I see bits and pieces of that.”

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Chargers Activate Derwin James, Adrian Phillips

While the Chargers’ playoff hopes are dim, they’ll be receiving some much-needed reinforcement for the stretch run. The team announced today that they’ve activated safeties Derwin James and Adrian Phillips from injured reserve.

James suffered a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot in August after a screw that was originally inserted during his freshman year at Florida State bent back. The injury required a surgical operation, and a new screw has since been placed. James has been running without any pain for several weeks now, and he presumably won’t have any limitations tomorrow against the Broncos. The 17th overall pick in the 2018 draft started all 16 games for Los Angeles during his rookie campaign, posting three interceptions, 13 passes defensed, and 3.5 sacks during that time. Pro Football Focus graded James as the league’s seventh-best safety, and he also garnered a first-team All-Pro nod.

Phillips suffered a broken forearm in a September loss to the Lions, knocking him out of action. The 27-year-old earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last year, with the hybrid safety/linebacker finishing with 94 tackles, nine passes defended, and one interception. He had compiled 14 tackles in two games this season before going down with an injury.

With James and fellow safeties Adrian Phillips and Nasir Adderley on IR, the Chargers have primarily deployed Rayshawn Jenkins and undrafted rookie Roderic Teamer in the back end. So far, the results have been lackluster; after finishing 8th in defensive DVOA in 2018, Los Angeles now ranks 25th in the same metric.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Derwin James To Return In Week 13

One of the NFL’s best safeties will be returning for the final stretch of the 2019 campaign. After undergoing surgery during the summer and missing most the season, Chargers defensive back Derwin James is expected to return to game action in Week 13, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

James suffered a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot in August after a screw originally inserted during his freshman year at Florida State bent back. The injury required a surgical operation to remove the screw, and a new screw has since been placed, per Schefter. James is now running without any pain, allowing him to get back on the field after the Chargers complete their Week 12 bye.

The 17th overall pick in the 2018 draft, James entered the NFL with high expectations and quickly surpassed them. The now-23-year-old started all 16 games for Los Angeles during his rookie campaign, posting three interceptions, 13 passes defensed, and 3.5 sacks during that time. Pro Football Focus graded James as the league’s seventh-best safety, while he also garnered a first-team All-Pro nod.

With James and fellow safeties Adrian Phillips and Nasir Adderley on IR, the Chargers have primarily deployed Rayshawn Jenkins and undrafted rookie Roderic Teamer (who is also now injured) in the back end. So far, the results have been lackluster: after finishing 8th in defensive DVOA in 2018, Los Angeles now ranks 26th in the same metric, while the club has fallen from 10th in pass defense DVOA to 23rd.

Sitting at 4-5, the Chargers are on the outside looking in to the AFC playoff race, and FiveThirtyEight.com gives them only a 14% chance of earning a postseason berth. They’ll play the Raiders and Chiefs without James in tow, then face the Broncos, Jaguars, Vikings, Raiders, and Chiefs once James returns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers To Place Derwin James On IR

Derwin James underwent foot surgery on Thursday, and the second-year Chargers safety will soon have a clearer timeline. The Chargers will place the All-Pro talent on IR before Week 1, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

The Bolts made the move to place James on IR Sunday. They are planning to replace him on the roster with defensive back Jaylen Watkins, Daniel Popper of The Athletic tweets.

Los Angeles will carry James through to their 53-man roster, making him eligible for one of its two IR-return slots. Were the Chargers to place James on IR before finalizing their 53-man unit, he would be out for the season. With James on IR after roster cutdown day, the Bolts will have to play at least two months without him.

That lines up with James’ timetable. He is expected to need at least three months to recover from the stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, making an IR stay logical. He will not be eligible to return from IR until Week 9, and if this recovery timeline is accurate, it may be further into the season before the Chargers have their back-line chess piece available again.

While the Chargers will obviously miss their do-it-all defender, they re-signed All-Pro special-teamer/hybrid linebacker Adrian Phillips in March and drafted Nasir Adderley in the second round a month later.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers’ Derwin James To Miss Time

Chargers safety Derwin James is scheduled to undergo foot surgery on Thursday, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). During the procedure, doctors will remove the screw that was inserted in James’ foot during his freshman year at Florida State and was bent last week. The recovery timetable will keep James out for at least the first half of the season, as he’ll need 3-4 months to bounce back. 

It’s a tough break for the Chargers as they’ll be without one of their most important defensive players for a good while. James started all 16 games for the Chargers last season after the team drafted him in the first round out of Florida State. He was a strong candidate for the NFL’s Defensive Rookie Of The Year award last season, notching 105 tackles while adding 3.5 sacks. Big things are still expected of him, but the Bolts will have to wait until November or December to see James make his impact.

James does a little bit of everything for the Chargers, including covering burly tight ends one-on-one and even chipping in at linebacker. In the interim, the Chargers may turn to Jaylen Watkins, Adrian Phillips, Adarius Pickett, or rookie safety Nasir Adderley to try and fill-in for the All-Pro safety.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Derwin James To Undergo Surgery, Miss Extended Time

Chargers safety Derwin James will undergo surgery on his foot and is expected to miss roughly three months of action, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, as we passed along on Friday. The injury occurred during practice earlier this week.

The team should have a firmer timeline after the surgery, though a mid-November return appears to be the most optimistic scenario. The surgery will be performed by ankle specialist Robert Anderson. Anderson is on the NFL’s Injury and Safety Panel.

James started all 16 games for the Chargers last season after the team drafted him in the first round out of Florida State. He was a strong candidate for the NFL’s Defensive Rookie Of The Year award last season, notching 105 tackles while adding 3.5 sacks.

We’re going to miss him a lot,” Lynn said after the injury. “But we’re a team. We have a good team and we have guys that will step up, and we’ll be fine.

Chargers’ Derwin James Suffers Injury

Chargers safety Derwin James suffered a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The injury occurred during Thursday’s practice and may sideline him for a significant period of time.

James has been spotted in a boot, according to Rapoport, and Dr. David J. Chao (Twitter link) estimates that he will miss a minimum of six weeks. The more likely scenario, he says, is at least a couple of months, making him a candidate to be placed on IR and designated for return later on.

James made a name for himself immediately at Florida State when he tallied 91 total tackles and 4.5 sacks as a true freshman. A knee injury cost him the bulk of his sophomore year, but he returned in his final year at FSU to register 84 tackles, two interceptions, eleven passes defended, and a sack. Coming off of that performance, the Bolts used the No. 17 pick to select the safety.

Last year, the 23-year-old started in all 16 games for the Chargers and notched 105 total tackles and 3.5 sacks. Without James, the Chargers’ secondary will take a hit, though coach Anthony Lynn seems prepared to fill the void internally.

We’re going to miss him a lot,” Lynn told reporters. “But we’re a team. We have a good team and we have guys that will step up, and we’ll be fine.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.