Sometimes it seems like it would be preferable to get blown out rather than to lose nail-biting games decided at the final whistle. The San Diego Chargers know this all too well thus far in 2013 having all three of their contests decided by three points in the waning moments of the 60-minute duel. What’s become apparent, however, is that these Bolts are just far too undermanned to expect wins to come in any other fashion.
Everyone knew the stack of injuries that mounted in San Diego even prior to the squad taking the field for a regular season game. It went all the way back to Melvin Ingram tearing his ACL in minicamp in May and came through training camp where Danario Alexander tore his ACL, Malcom Floyd suffered a scare with his knee and is now sidelined with a neck injury, rookie corner Steve Williams tore his ACL, Eddie Royal bruised a lung, and linebacker Manti Te’o sprained his foot. Given all of their injuries, these problems in the regular season really should have been something the Bolts saw coming.
But even the most pessimistic of Chargers fans couldn’t have seen the likes of Mike Harris playing at left tackle, Crezdon Butler getting critical reps at corner, and Andrew Gachkar playing at linebacker. These guys are all borderline NFL roster fillers not players you want on the field at crucial times of a Week 3 game.
Injuries are bound to crop up for every team at some juncture during the season, but one has to wonder just how much a team not thought of as very deep to begin with can endure and still be competitive. It really is remarkable that the Chargers have been within three points each week of being undefeated, but what also can’t be denied is that they are the same exact distance away from being winless. 1-2 probably isn’t all that bad of a record considering the amount of injuries this team has already faced, and it also can’t be condemned given that their opponents in the first three weeks have a combined 5-4 record through three games each.
Still, it seems like these Chargers are teetering on a slippery slope of becoming irrelevant quickly in the 2013 season. Overcoming these types of roster casualties is not a sustainable proposition, and it is only a matter of time before the losses quickly start to outnumber the wins. While everything that new general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Mike McCoy did to retool this roster in one offseason was admirable, it turns out the mess left by the former regime is much worse than we feared. This season seems destined to get worse before it gets better for the Bolts.