The Los Angeles Chargers Are Already In Dangerous Injury Territory

The injury focus on the Week 1 matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers is clearly on the Colts but in reality the Chargers are the team more impacted by injury.

Andrew Luck shocked everyone with his retirement due to ankle and other injury issues but the Bolts have already lost two Pro Bowlers due to health issues and others are not healthy.

Sharp Football Betting Package
Take 15% off NFL Betting + Props

This type of overreaction is typical when it comes to a star player. The season total wins for the Colts was a 9.5 and dropped to as low as 6 before resetting to 7.5.

People look at the rough start Jacoby Brissett had when he first joined the Colts but there are stark differences this time. Last time, he joined and immediately played within a week. This time he has been practicing as the No. 1 QB since at least March when Luck was first injured.

In addition, Chris Ballard has shored up the offensive line since then. Brissett was rewarded with a new contract over the weekend showing the team’s faith in him. The Colts without Luck are less hampered than the Bolts would be without Philip Rivers.

The Chargers have two key injuries to start the season for the second year in a row. Last year they were without tight end Hunter Henry (ACL) and EDGE Joey Bosa (Lisfranc) and had a slow start before rebounding to 12-4.

This year, they are missing left tackle Russell Okung (pulmonary embolism) and safety Derwin James (Jone refracture). Arguably, the two main losses this year impact the team as much or more than last year. Okung is the only solid player on an average at best offensive line and he had to protect the blind side of an immobile quarterback. However, Rivers does get rid of the ball quickly and had an above average sack rate in 2018. 

James is potentially the best safety in the league and a key on defense. His loss could change the entire way the team schemes up its defense. In addition, the Charges still have lingering linebacker health issues and not to mention an absent No. 1 running back who even if he reports between now and Sunday is unlikely to be a major contributor.

The Chargers worked through their injuries last season and made the playoffs with a 12-win season, but the injuries are already starting to pile up, as they have in seasons past.

Los Angeles is still favored by 6.5 over Indianapolis in Week 1 and the Chargers have one of the highest win totals for the season in most books, but there might not be a team in more danger of being derailed by numerous injuries than the Chargers in 2019.