COSTA MESA, California — Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley on Monday voiced optimism that sideline runner Joey Bosa and left-wing guard Rashawn Slater could return from injured reserve this season to provide a potential boost for a playoff run.
Following a Week 3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bosa underwent surgery to repair a groin tear and Slater underwent surgery on a torn left biceps tendon.
“Individual practice is going better,” Staley said of Bosa, who spent time away from the team to recover from his injury but has since returned and is on the sidelines in Sunday’s 23-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. “In terms of opening it [return] window, this is still in motion.”
The Chargers are 7-6 and are currently the 7th seed in the AFC, which position could change rapidly depending on the Week 14 Monday Night Football match between the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals. A Patriots win puts New England in 7th place.
Staley refrained from providing a timeline for Bosa’s return, and also did not commit to a timeline for Slater, but made it clear that Slater’s timeline is “definitely not the same as Joey Bosa.”
“He’s being rehabilitated at our facility and is doing well,” Staley said of Slater. “I’m a pretty optimistic person in general, but he gave me a pretty good reason to be optimistic. He’s getting better.”
When asked if Slater could return in the regular season, Staley said, “It’s not impossible, that’s for sure.”
At the start of the season, the Chargers were expected to field one of the best passing duos in the NFL between Bosa and Khalil Mack. In three games together, Mack has recorded four sacks and has produced only three more since then.
With the absence of Bosa, as well as cornerback JC Jackson and defensive lineman Austin Johnson – both injured in reserve – the Bolts defense ranks 28th in the NFL, allowing 25 points per game.
Rookie Jamaree Salyer, who was selected in the sixth round from Georgia, made 10 appearances in last season’s Pro Bowl in the absence of rookie Slater.
Slater’s potential return could provide significant boost to an offensive line that suffered multiple injuries throughout the season, ranked 21st in the NFL with a 56 percent pass block win rate, and allowed quarterback Justin Herbert to be fired 18 times. last four games