The Chargers know they will begin the season without safety Derwin James. They don’t know how many games he will miss with a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot.
Coach Anthony Lynn said Friday he can’t put a timetable on James’ injury.
“I’d like for him to play in 2019, but I don’t know that for sure,” said Lynn, who also said short-term injured reserve is an option depending on the diagnosis from the foot specialist.
James’ injury happened “at some point” during Thursday’s practice.
“But this could have been something that’s been there all along, and it just happened kind of slowly and yesterday it came to a head,” Lynn said, via video from the team. “We’re going to miss him while he’s out, and we’re going to try to get him well and get on the field as soon as we can.”
In 2018, the Chargers lost defensive end Joey Bosa for the first nine games after he injured his foot in training camp. So it’s next-man up for the Chargers without James, who earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors as a rookie.
Adrian Phillips will take over the strong safety spot during James’ absence.
“With [James’] production, with his intangibles, we’re going to miss him a lot, but we’re a team,” Lynn said. “I think we have a good team. So we’ll have guys who will step up. We’ll be fine. We lost Joey last year. We were fine until we got him back. We’ll be OK.”