Justin Herbert and the Chargers Get Shocking Injury Update That Could Save Their Season
The Los Angeles Chargers came into the 2022 NFL season as a trendy Super Bowl sleeper pick by many fans and media members. Through three weeks, though, things haven’t gone well for quarterback Justin Herbert and his crew. Herbert suffered a painful rib injury in Week 2, and in Week 3, the signal-caller lost his talented left tackle Rashawn Slater to a biceps injury. Initial reports had Slater, the 2021 No. 13 overall pick, out for the season. However, a new injury update could be huge for the Chargers.
LA Chargers tackle Rashawn Slater could be back this season
Like many NFL teams, the LA Chargers have been hit hard by injuries to key players in the season’s opening month. In addition to Justin Herbert and Rashawn Slater picking up injuries, star defensive end Joey Bosa is out at least eight to ten weeks after core muscle surgery.
Slater will have surgery soon to fix his “distal biceps (the tendon that connects the biceps muscle to the forearm bones),” per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. While the initial reports on the tackle — who made the Pro Bowl team as a rookie — were that the surgery would end his season, new reports are more optimistic.
Rapoport says that team doctors now believe Slater can rehab and recover by the end of the season or the playoffs if the Chargers can improve on their 1-2 record. The NFL insider identified Week 17 vs. the LA Rams or Week 18 vs. the Denver Broncos as the first chance to see Slater back protecting Herbert’s blindside.
While this is good news for Slater and the Chargers, it hardly solves the team’s current injury crisis. Last week, head coach Brandon Staley was missing five Pro Bowl players by the end of the game, and his Pro Bowl quarterback was struggling with his rib cartilage injury.
The Chargers stars on the shelf after the team’s Week 3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars were Slater, Bosa, wide receiver Keenan Allen, center Corey Linsley, and cornerback J.C. Jackson.
For the team’s Week 4 matchup vs. the Houston Texans, Jackson and Linsley are in, while Allen is out.
As for the left tackle in front of Justin Herbert, that role will now go to Jamaree Salyer, a sixth-round rookie out of Georgia. The 6-foot-3, 321-pound lineman rotated between starting at left tackle, left guard, and right guard for the Bulldogs and played all five line positions in his college career.
Salyer is getting the first tryout to replace Slater over fourth-year veteran Storm Norton. Norton started 15 games last season at right tackle and ranked among the worst starting offensive linemen in the NFL.
This uncertainty on the line could become a massive problem for LA. However, if the team can improve its record despite the injuries, getting Slater back for the final few games to fight for a playoff spot could end up being huge for Herbert and the Chargers.