One tough thing to ignore as the countdown to the regular season continues is that there seems to be more hope than belief with the San Diego Chargers.
After an offseason of completely overhauling their front office, the coaching staff, and much of the roster, the Bolts have tempered their expectations a bit. A rash of injuries prior to the first preseason game even taking place set the bar even lower for this franchise that hasn’t reached the postseason the past three years, and now it seems desperation may be taking hold.
To rub salt in the wounds of the team that lost Melvin Ingram to a torn ACL in May and Danario Alexander to the same injury in August, the Chargers may be without three more starters when Week 1 arrives. Malcom Floyd, Manti Te’o, and Corey Liuget are all in doubt now for the Monday night opener with the Houston Texans according to various reports. Each injury occurred at separate times, but all three guys are potential starters that could be missing when things kick off in less than two weeks.
Floyd’s injury occurred in practice shortly after the devastating loss of Alexander to his torn ACL. After a collision with cornerback Shareece Wright, Floyd was taken for an MRI where it revealed he had a knee strain rather than the dreaded torn ACL as feared. He has been handled with care by the team since the incident, and there is optimism he will play come Week 1 – there’s that hope word again.
Te’o suffered a sprained ankle early in his first preseason action against the Seattle Seahawks. The linebacker has been in a walking boot since, and the case for optimism is much bleaker in his case. San Diego was hopeful that Te’o could start the season at inside linebacker alongside Donald Butler, but that seems less and less likely by the day.
As for Liuget, his breakout campaign may have to be put on hold after he suffered a strained shoulder earlier in the preseason game against the Chicago Bears. His status is very much up in the air as he has just been working on the side in practice to keep in shape without aggravating his shoulder. There is hope that he will be back for the opener, but just how realistic it is remains to be seen.
No matter how much hope the Chargers have this year they must gain some belief before the team can actually turn the corner and become a winner in the NFL again. As a lifelong fan I’m bracing myself for a rough season and taking the approach of setting my expectations low. Perhaps general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Mike McCoy should do the same given the horrible luck the squad has had already in 2013.