Denzel Perryman was carted off the field with an ankle injury early in the Los Angeles Chargers’ preseason opener.
Following the team’s return to practice on Tuesday, Head Coach Anthony Lynn provided an update on the starting inside linebacker.
“Denzel’s going to be out for a while,” Lynn said. “He’ll be out (about) 6-8 weeks. He’s having ankle surgery today…. It’s always a concern when you lose a player, especially a starter. It’s football, so you’re going to have injuries. We try and prevent them as much as we can, but they’re still going to happen.”
Nick Dzubnar and Korey Toomer will be among those tasked with filling Perryman’s shoes. While the Bolts remain confident in each vet, Lynn didn’t sugarcoat how much the team will miss number 52 on the field.
“It’s a blow. It’s a position we’re looking for depth. These young guys will have to step up and play a little bit.... Denzel was looking to step up as a leader, and he did. He was one of our leaders on the team, and he still will be. He’ll be around and in the meetings. He’ll be at practice. He just won’t be on the field.”
Perryman entered 2017 looking to take his game to new heights in his third season. A hard-hitting thumper known for his bone-rattling hits, he burst onto the scene with a memorable rookie campaign in 2015. The second-round pick finished second on the team with 95 tackles, including 79 over the team’s final seven games after ascending into the starting lineup. The Miami product was just five tackles shy of becoming the first rookie in Chargers history to post 100 tackles in a season.
The linebacker led the Bolts in tackles (80) last year despite missing four games due to injury. Perryman turned heads with a standout performance in the team’s victory over Atlanta, picking off Matt Ryan late in the fourth quarter that allowed the Chargers to tie the game. He punctuated his performance with a tackle for loss on fourth-and-short in overtime, giving the Bolts the ball near midfield.
A popular figure in the locker room, news that Perryman would miss time hit the team hard.
“That's my brother at the end of the day,” Toomer said. “Me and him built a good chemistry. When I got here (last season), he helped me and looked out for me. I can't pray enough for him. I hope he gets back soon…. He's in good spirits, man. That's all I can really say. He's ready to help me. We're ready to help each other. And he's going to live vicariously through me until he gets better.”
Perryman wasn’t the only injury Lynn addressed as he provided updates on handful of others. The head coach announced that Jerry Attaochu will be week to week with a hamstring injury while Kenjon Barner is in the concussion protocol. Meanwhile, Lynn said that Mike Williams is approximately three weeks away from returning to practice.
"You saw him out here running last week," Lynn said. "He’s getting better each week, so you never know. I don't like to put a time table on it. It could happen sooner."