Sometimes the injury bug turns into a giant mutant mosquito the likes of which is only seen on a Sci-Fi movie of the week.
For the San Diego Chargers, that is exactly what the 2013 season has turned into at this point with significant injuries continuing to mount for the surprising Bolts. The two most recent blows came with the team placing both wide receiver Malcom Floyd and pass rusher Dwight Freeney on injured reserve, effectively ending their seasons.
Freeney’s torn quadriceps muscle was suffered this past Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. At first the team was reluctant to make any definitive statement about his future this season, but it seemed apparent all along that the injury would land him on IR. This is a serious blow to a defense that has real trouble getting to the quarterback even with Freeney on the field, and the secondary has been torched due to the lack of pass rush. Now those issues will only be further exacerbated by this loss and could leave the Chargers in a bad way for the remaining 12 games.
As for Floyd, his injury was very frightening a few weeks ago on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles. The game stopped for more than 10 minutes at the veteran wideout was put in a neck brace and transported to a local hospital. Although the initial reports were good and Floyd flew back home with the team following the game, it seemed clear something wasn’t right as time went by with no definitive word on his condition. At 32 years of age, it seems fair to ask whether the Chargers will bring Floyd back next season with Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal, and rookie Keenan Allen now picking up the slack on the outside.
Obviously these injuries are just the cherry on top of the infirmary sundae that the Bolts have been served with this season. The injuries began way back in May at minicamp when pass rusher Melvin Ingram tore his ACL necessitating the signing of the veteran Freeney in the first place. Training camp brought more bad news as wideout Danario Alexander and rookie cornerback Steve Williams each tore their ACLs in practice.
Despite these issues, the Chargers have forged ahead under new head coach Mike McCoy and not taken time to feel sorry for themselves. This type of perseverance and compartmentalization is unique to see in a young team with some veteran leaders in key positions. With two close losses on their current resume and two victories as well, many have been saying that the Chargers are very close to making it three undefeated squads atop the AFC West. While that is the case for the time being, there is only so much a team can take in terms of injuries and depth. These latest developments could be the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Chargers as the rest of the 2013 season unfolds.