The San Diego Chargers will play their final 12 games without two key starters. The team placed outside linebacker Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Malcom Floyd on injured reserve on Tuesday, ending their seasons.
Freeney went down with a quadriceps injury in the second quarter in San Diego’s win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Even at 33-years-old, Freeney was off to an exceptional start to the 2013 season. Despite only notching two tackles and half a sack, Freeney got a handful of quarterback pressures and hits. According to Pro Football Focus’ pass rushing metrics, Freeney was the second-best pass rusher through four games only behind Justin Houston. However, the reason for San Diego’s overall struggles in their pass rush was because Freeney was the only one getting the job done, which could become even more evident now that Freeney is done for the year.
Meanwhile, Floyd was dominating against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2 before suffering a scary neck injury. Though the Chargers’ passing game has still been quite effective without him during the past two games, the wide receivers haven’t been as effective working underneath without Floyd taking the top off the defense, especially against the Tennessee Titans.
The team, now playing without their two best pass rushers and two starting wide receivers, will need to make adjustments. The Chargers already lost outside linebacker Melvin Ingram until at least November and lost wide receiver Danario Alexander for the year before the season began.
Players like Larry English and Keenan Allen will be counted on to pick up the slack for Freeney and Floyd. The Chargers also signed receiver Lavelle Hawkins and promoted outside linebacker Thomas Keiser from the practice squad.