The last few weeks have not been kind to the San Diego Chargers in terms of injuries. Each week, new players have found themselves on either injured reserve or the inactive list on Sunday. But as the team reconvened on Wednesday for practice to prepare for the Jets, a large number of players who have missed time this year returned to the fold.
Amongst the players back for the Bolts on a limited basis were
Still, while the team was glad to have the players back in the fold, it was frustrating to think what could have been had they not been forced to miss significant time.
“(When) you get guys who haven’t been able to practice in six-to-eight weeks, you feel like you’re starting over right from square one with them,” said head coach Norv Turner. “It’s a frustrating feeling when you’re in Week 15.”
One of those players is Butler, who injured his groin midway through the Chargers match on Nov. 25 against the Baltimore Ravens and has missed the last three games.
“He was limited,” said Turner. “I thought he moved around alright and didn’t have a setback, so it would be nice if he could play. It would be nice for him because he was in the middle of having a great year.”
Prior to his injury, Butler was leading the team with 72 tackles in addition to recording two sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception and one touchdown. There was speculation when he initially injured himself that he may be forced to miss the remainder of the year, but it’s important for Butler to get back on the field.
“It felt good to be back,” he said. “The most important thing was being back there communicating with the guys and getting ready for the Jets. I think I’ll be out there on Sunday. I’m feeling good, and I think it’s important to get back out there. I want to be back out there before the season ended. I want to get back as soon as possible and show what I can do and finish the year out the right way.”
Another one of the injured players who could be in for a heavy workload is Royal, who Turner hinted may see an increased role with
“I think we’ve got to see over the next couple days, but if Eddie is able to make it through the week of practice and not have a setback, I’d like to see Eddie play some,” said Turner.
Even though Royal has seen the vast majority of his time this season as the slot receiver in three-man sets, he feels more than confident he will be able to succeed should he get the nod as one of the two starting wideouts.
“In practice I do everything,” he said. “We are always practicing and preparing for every position. So if my number gets called I’ll be ready.”
More than anything, like his fellow injured Chargers, Royal is happiest to be back playing with his teammates.
“I’m just happy to be back with the guys,” he said. “That’s what I’ve missed the most, not being able to help. I’m looking forward to being back there in the huddle and get a chance to play with the guys and feel like a part of the team.”