The San Diego Chargers are losing more than just wide receivers to injuries this offseason. Add cornerback Steve Williams, the team’s fifth-round pick, to the team’s long list of players who will miss the season due to injury. Williams suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the team’s preseason loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday.
The speedy 5-foot-10, 185-pound rookie was competing for the nickel corner position and would’ve likely seen plenty of playing time in his first year with the team. Without him, the Chargers are incredibly thin at corner with Derek Cox, Shareece Wright and Johnny Patrick as the only realistic options to start. Making matters worse, Patrick, Williams’ main competition at nickel, suffered a concussion against the Bears. Meanwhile, Cox and Wright also have injury concerns of their own. Cox has missed 14 games over the past two seasons, while Wright missed the six games last season due to a foot injury.
Cox, Wright and Patrick have all looked pretty good this offseason, but the Chargers have very little behind them and could be in serious trouble if any of them were to go down with an injury.
Vying for Williams’ roster spot now are free agent acquisition William Middleton and undrafted corners Marcus Cromartie, Josh Johnson and Greg Gatson. Middleton is the only one with experience, with 49 games under his belt, but will need to quickly get up to speed as he was a late addition to training camp. Marcus Gilchrist, who moved from cornerback to strong safety this offseason, could be moved back to corner if needed, but that will depend on the health and development of strong safety Brandon Taylor, who recovering from a torn ACL.
The Chargers may need to scour the free agent market for some help, but it’s currently slim-pickings with 34-year-old Sheldon Brown the only real decent option.