Chargers Rumors

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 will carry James through to their 53-man roster, making him eligible for one of their 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.

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Latest On Chargers, Melvin Gordon

The holdout of Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is expected to continue into the season, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). At this stage, contract talks have not progressed as he hoped, and Gordon plans to train in Florida for the foreseeable future. 

Gordon can’t sit out the entire season — or at least, he can’t sit out the entire season if he wants to become a free agent next spring (which he does). If Gordon doesn’t report by November 29, he won’t be eligible to play during the 2019 campaign. At that point, his contract would toll: his $5.605MM salary would simply carry over to 2020, and he’d remain under the Chargers’ control.

Gordon has simultaneously said that he’d like to remain with Los Angeles and formally requested a trade. Meanwhile, “mounting pessimism” exists that Gordon and the Chargers will strike any sort of deal before the regular season gets underway. The Chargers are reportedly offering Gordon something in the neighborhood of $10MM annually, but the former first-round pick is looking for an additional $2-3MM per season.

Gordon, 26, has averaged 907 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground during his four-year career. He’s averaged 46 catches, 395 yards, and three scores via the passing game during that same timeframe. The Wisconsin product was named to the Pro Bowl in both 2016 and 2018.

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Chargers To Sign Dontrelle Inman

The Chargers have signed wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). This will be a homecoming for Inman, who played for the Chargers from 2014-16 and for the first quarter of 2017 before the Bolts traded him to the Bears.

Inman, 30, became a free agent after the 2017 season and did not sign with a club until October 2018, when he joined the Colts. He caught 28 passes for 304 yards and three scores for Indy, and he added another eight grabs for 108 yards in the club’s two postseason contests. Advanced metrics were fond of his work, and he has always been a solid contributor when given the opportunity. His best season, which featured 810 yards and four TDs, came with the 2016 Chargers.

The UVA product signed with the Patriots in May but requested his release shortly after Josh Gordon was reinstated. He generated interest from the Lions and Jets, but Rapoport says the chance to reunite with Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers ended up being the deciding factor. However, RapSheet says in a separate tweet that the Jets made a “very strong offer” to Inman, and that the veteran wideout was impressed with the New York outfit.

Inman should see a fair amount of action, especially if Keenan Allen — who is expected to miss the remainder of Los Angeles’ preseason slate — is forced to miss any regular season action. Even if Allen stays healthy, Inman currently looks like the No. 3 or No. 4 option on the Chargers’ WR depth chart.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/20/19

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: OL Erik Magnuson
  • Placed on IR: OL Garrett McGhin (ankle)

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

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.

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Adrian Phillips Leader To Replace Derwin James

  • Derwin James‘ absence will test the Chargers, but it makes their March re-signing of Adrian Phillips all the more important. The sixth-year safety/All-Pro special-teamer made a big difference playing as a hybrid linebacker in the Chargers’ Round 1 win over the Ravens, and Eric Williams of ESPN.com notes he will receive first crack at replacing James. Phillips (94 tackles in 2018 before a two-turnover wild-card performance) started Sunday’s preseason game against the Saints.

Keenan Allen Expected To Miss Rest Of Preseason

A semblance of past injury-related storm clouds are creeping onto the Chargers’ radar. Derwin James may be an IR-return candidate, and one of the contending team’s other top players will miss time as well.

Keenan Allen is expected to miss the remainder of the Bolts’ preseason slate, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reporting (via Twitter) the Pro Bowl wide receiver suffered an ankle injury in practice this week. This marks the second setback Allen has suffered during camp. The seventh-year wideout also ran into knee trouble during the Chargers’ joint practices with the Rams, per The Athletic’s Daniel Popper (on Twitter).

This being the Chargers, who have lost several key players to severe early-season injuries in recent years, concern is natural. But Schefter cautions Allen’s ankle ailment is not considered serious. He is expected to be ready in time for the team’s opener against the Colts.

Allen has done well to shake the injury concerns that plagued his mid-2010s run. He missed 23 games between the 2015 and ’16 seasons, the latter instance because of a Week 1 ACL tear. With Tyrell Williams now gone, the Bolts’ receiving corps is now thinner and would be less equipped to withstand an Allen absence. But the 27-year-old standout has not missed a game over the past two seasons.

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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.”

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No Extension For Chargers’ Philip Rivers?

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will likely play out the final year of his contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears. Both sides are “in agreement” that Rivers will probably wind up playing out his deal and addressing his status after the 2019 season, when his deal expires. 

Rivers, who will turn 38 this year, has started in every game for the Bolts since 2006. Currently, he’s scheduled to earn $16MM in the final year of his four-year, $83.25MM extension. That was a significant deal at the time of signing, but the market has advanced significantly for QBs.

Meanwhile, the Bolts are without a true Plan B. The Chargers have looked into taking a QB high in the draft for years, but they have not selected a signal caller in the top three rounds since 2006.

There’s no reason for the Chargers to sweat it, at least, not yet. The Patriots and star Tom Brady are in a similar boat, with the superstar set for free agency after the ’19 season thanks to two void years in his newly-revised deal.

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