Coming into this season, the Los Angeles Chargers had championship aspirations.
They had made some major additions to the defensive side of the football, as well as their offensive line, which led some to pick them to finish first in the ultra-competitive AFC West.
Instead, they got routed by the young and inexperienced Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, 38-10, to fall to 1-2 on the young season.
But the major worry regarding the Chargers is their health.
Superstar quarterback Justin Herbert suffered an injury to his rib cartilage in Week 2.
Although he played on Sunday, he was lackluster, completing just 25 of 45 passes.
Even worse, two important starters got injured.
Brandon Staley says edge rusher Joey Bosa has a significant groin injury and will be week to week.
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) September 26, 2022
Another injury for the #Chargers: WR Jalen Guyton suffered a torn ACL on Sunday and is out for the season, per source.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 26, 2022
In addition, left tackle Rashawn Slater injured his biceps.
All prayers out to Rashawn and his family. 🙏💯⚡️
Ian Rapoport – #Chargers LT Rashawn Slater suffered a biceps injury, source said, one that is concerned. He'll have tests today. But a potentially important injury to watch.
— Brian Rick (@ChargersWin2022) September 26, 2022
After such lofty expectations, the Chargers may have a hard time just making the playoffs if they don’t pull together and step up their collective game.
Los Angeles Was Already Ailing
Going into Week 3, the Bolts weren’t exactly a picture of sound health.
Wideout Keenan Allen, arguably the team’s top threat in its passing game, missed his second straight game with a hamstring ailment he sustained in Week 1.
J.C. Jackson, who had ankle surgery in late August and missed Week 1 as a result, was out of action again on Sunday after playing in L.A.’s Week 2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Not having Allen has seriously hampered the team’s offense, as he has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last five seasons.
Jackson, meanwhile, was the big-name cornerback the team acquired in order to be able to guard the NFL’s best wideouts one-on-one and contain them.
Now, the Chargers resemble a group of war refugees much more than a team ready for the Super Bowl.
So to recap for #Chargers…
• QB: fractured rib cartilage
• All-Pro center: knee injury
• All-Pro LT likely to miss season with torn biceps
• No. 1 receiver has strained hamstring
• Top pass rusher has groin injury
• Top CB not responding as expected from ankle surgery
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) September 26, 2022
That Old Chargers Luck
The Bolts have long had a pattern of looking very strong on paper during the preseason, only to find a way to fall beneath expectations due to injuries, bad luck, or a combination thereof.
Um, how many cracks stepped on or ladders walked under caused the Chargers to have so many injuries? Herbert, Slater, Bosa, Allen, Jackson, Linsley. Seriously, that's like the top of their roster. Wishing for salud for them. #BoltUp
— Jorge Martin (@jorgemartin17) September 27, 2022
The cycle I go through each season as a Charger fan.
Me on Monday hearing about every injury after the Jags game.
— SoCal Native™ (@yesitsNEIL) September 27, 2022
The Chargers were my preseason pick to win the Super Bowl because I believe they are the most talented team in the NFL. Terrible luck and injuries just keep striking them year after year it’s sad https://t.co/pXWmXw4dye
— Braxton Reynolds (@BReynolds200) September 27, 2022
Almost without fail the more the off-season hype surrounding the chargers the more devastating the injuries are. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Allen OUT, Slater OUT, Jackson OUT, Parham OUT, Bosa OUT
— Ian S (@SDIronworkerIan) September 27, 2022
Death, Taxes and Chargers injuries.
— Anthony M Perez (@ant_perez1) September 26, 2022
Some had hoped that moving away from San Diego, their old home, to Los Angeles may rectify that bad fortune.
San Diego is a city that is said to have a supposed sports curse, while L.A. is home to the 17-time NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and the 7-time World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was thought that such championship karma may eventually rub off onto the Chargers.
But so far, it hasn’t happened.
The One Glimmer Of Hope
The AFC West isn’t looking as dominant as everyone thought it would be.
The Denver Broncos are 2-1, but they have one of the league’s worst offenses, while head coach Nathaniel Hackett has come under fire for some questionable play-calling.
The Chiefs are still a very good football team, but they’re also 2-1 and coming off a loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
The Raiders, whom some thought could win the division, are 0-3.
L.A.’s schedule is manageable in the coming weeks, as it will take on the Houston Texans in Week 4 and the Cleveland Browns the following Sunday.
After facing the Broncos, it will then have the Seattle Seahawks, then its bye week, and then the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9.
It’s time for the Chargers to band together and overcome their latest outbreak of injuries to string together some wins.