Chargers’ Joey Bosa out for opener with left foot injury
Coach Anthony Lynn said Friday that Bosa’s first foot injury had healed but that he suffered a new injury during Wednesday’s practice. Bosa first injured the foot on Aug. 7 during training camp and missed the preseason.
The Chargers had been cautious with Bosa during the preseason, hoping that another injury wouldn’t occur.
“He’s real frustrated. He’s been waiting for a while to get back on the field,” Lynn said. “It’s going to be week to week. We hope it doesn’t linger but it could.”
This will be the first time Bosa has missed a game because of injury since being selected with the third overall pick in the 2016 draft. He has 23 career sacks in two seasons, including an NFL-record 19 in his first 20 games.
Bosa led the team last season in tackles (54) and sacks (12.5) while being second in tackles for loss (17.5) and quarterback hits (22).
With Bosa’s injury, the Chargers will be without two starters on their defensive line. Defensive tackle Corey Liuget is serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Isaac Rochell will get his first NFL start in Bosa’s place. The second-year player saw extensive playing time during the preseason and led the team in tackles for loss (3) along with two sacks.
“Isaac had a great camp. He’s grown like a weed, stepped up and got the job done,” Lynn said.
Rochell said the increased snaps have allowed him to develop more confidence and also gain the trust of coaches. He added that “you don’t want your coaches to feel like they are in survival mode.”
The defense’s biggest challenge this week will be containing Patrick Mahomes. The second-year quarterback uses his athleticism to keep plays alive, which has led to big gains downfield.
“He has a strong arm but has the threat of running,” Rochelle said. “With the other threats they have, there are going to be a lot of challenges.”
Lynn also said that he expects tight end Antonio Gates to be active for Sunday’s game. Gates re-signed with the team Monday, and Lynn said it looked as though Gates picked up where he left off last season.