Safety Derwin James addressed the media Thursday for the first time since sustaining a stress fracture in his right foot August 15. The injury took place after James intercepted the Saints’ Drew Brees during a joint practice session.
“It was very disappointing,” James said of the injury. “I want to be out there as much as I can, especially with the momentum I was having coming into the season. It kinda sucks, but it’s part of ball.”
Despite being unable to play, James said he’s contributing by attending all team meetings and maintaining a constant presence in the Chargers locker room.
“I’m in coach mode right now,” the second-year defensive back said. “I’m Coach James right now. Still having the mental part of the game, still being there mentally, even though I’m not physically out there, going through my plays.”
James added that he’s staying engaged, because he “wants to be all the way into it” when he returns to the field.
On the difficulty of watching his team play without being able to physically help, James said, "of course, it can be difficult, but if you love ball, you wouldn’t leave.”
He said he has been through the rehab process before and described it as long and tough.
“But it’s what makes the game better, being able to get your body back to where it was and getting stronger,” James said.
On Thursday, James gifted the entire secondary with scooters.
“I feel like if I gotta be on a scooter, why not get everybody on them,” he said. “We all can ride together now.”
James may have bought his teammates scooters, however, to thank them for their ongoing support.
“With me being injured, my teammates have my back and supporting me still, coming to my house, making sure I’m alright,” he said.
As for James’ timetable for returning to action, the 23-year-old safety was unsure, saying all he knows is that he has to remain on the IR for eight weeks and that his goal is to be back this season.
“However it’s looking, I’m gonna play it smart and just keep working my butt off like I’m doing every day,” the Pro Bowler said. “I wanna be out there bad.”