Here's a breakdown of the news from the Chargers' 16th week of the season:
Monday: Return from mini bye
On Monday, the Bolts returned as a team for the first time since their Thursday night showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. Head coach Brandon Staley and defensive lineman Justin Jones talked about what the Bolts need to do to have success against the Houston Texans in Week 16 and for the remainder of the regular season.
"What we have to continue to do on this practice field, we have to continue to improve because I think that our team still has another gear it can get to," Staley said. "That's your goal, as a coach, is for your team to truly play its best at the end. There are a lot of obstacles in everybody's way right now. There are plenty of obstacles, depending on how you look at it. With obstacles, there is a lot of opportunity."
The NFL announced the 2022 Pro Bowl leading fan vote-getters by position on Monday. Quarterback Justin Herbert and rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater led the pack at their respective positions.
Herbert received 213,904 fan votes, enough to earn the top spot for votes amongst AFC quarterbacks. Slater tallied 83,085 votes giving him the most votes for a tackle in the AFC.
Seven players on the Bolts were added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list including OLB Joey Bosa, center Corey Linsley and wide receiver/returner Andre Roberts. Staley ruled out Bosa and cornerback Kemon Hall but explained the other five players on the list were still 'day-to-day' and have a chance to play in Week 16.
Rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater was activated off the COVID list after missing one game and was at back at practice on Monday.
Wednesday: Six Chargers named to the 2022 Pro Bowl
On Wednesday afternoon, the official 2022 Pro Bowl rosters were announced with six members of the Chargers named to the game. Five of those players in Herbert, Bosa, Derwin James, Linsley and Slater were named as starters as well.
Earlier in the day, wide receiver Keenan Allen talked about how Herbert is not only having a Pro Bowl season, but an MVP season.
"He's balling," Allen said. "He's going crazy. He's leading us in his second year. He's just making outstanding play after play. 300 [passing] yards, he's got the most of them. Savage, he's throwing touchdowns to everybody on the field. He's ridiculous."
Staley talked about what a Pro Bowl nomination for Herbert means in just his second year as a quarterback in the NFL.
"I think [it's] a testament to him and his hard work," Staley said. "It's a testament to his teammates. It's a testament to his coaching staff. He's certainly worthy of that selection. I think what he would tell you is that it's because of his teammates. I think that we've had a really, really quality season around him. He's been at the center of everything that we've done as a football team. I'm so proud of his season. I'm so proud of how he's leading our football team."
Five more players for the Bolts were named as alternates including wide receiver Mike Williams and running back Austin Ekeler.
Ekeler and wide receiver Jalen Guyton were also added to the COVID-19 list on Wednesday along with DL Joe Gaziano and quarterback Chase Daniel who were added Tuesday.
Thursday: Slater's Homecoming against the Texans
Slater, who spoke for the first time after being named a Pro Bowl starter, talked about what that honor means to him and how he still has his eyes on an even bigger goal.
"It means a lot to me," Slater said. "For me, the biggest thing is it means I got the respect of the fans, players and coaches, which to me is a huge deal and a huge honor. Obviously, the goal is to be busy that week preparing for the Super Bowl. It's a great feeling and I'm excited to keep building."
Sunday’s game in Houston marks a special game for the rookie left tackle as Slater grew up in Sugar Land, Texas, located about 20 miles outside of the Houston, and also rooted for the Texans as a kid.
Hill detailed the plan on defense for the Bolts and how players will need to step up if the defensive players on the COVID list are unable to play. Hill also talked about how crucial staying focused is during the final three games of the regular season.
"Our goal is to be a playoff team sitting at the end of the year," Hill said. "We know that Houston is the next team on our schedule, and we have to do a good job of taking advantage of this opportunity. They're just coming off of a win. They're getting some guys back. We have to be ready to go."
Friday: Final tune up before traveling to Houston
On Friday, Staley explained that the team had one of the best weeks of practice so far this season. Staley also explained that rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. has been cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol and will start in the game. Linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. will also get the start alongside OLB Uchenna Nwosu on Sunday according to Staley.
Staley talked about the excitement he has to see Murray Jr. play in a more extended role as an edge rusher.
"I'm really excited to see him compete," Staley said. "He's had a tremendous attitude and I think he's improving, he's getting more comfortable there. We are going to continue to accelerate that role…just been really proud of him. Hoping that he's able to play how he has practiced because he's practiced very well."
Safety Derwin James Jr. was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game on Friday, however Staley showed optimism that he will be 'available' noting he'll go through a routine pregame.
Staley also said that DL Justin Jones was added to the COVID list on Friday.
Videos of the Week
This week also brought a collection of videos to Chargers fans, take a look at the top videos released throughout the week.
All In: Episode 9 | Three Days to Primetime
Chargers vs. Chiefs. Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes. On this ninth installment of All In powered by Bud Light, go all-access on the Bolts' Week 15 primetime battle vs. the Kansas City Chiefs under the lights at SoFi Stadium for positioning in the 2021 playoff picture.
Film Room: Breaking Down Michael Davis' Stellar Play This Season
On this episode of Film Room, Chris Hayre and Daniel Jeremiah break down game film on what has made Michael Davis so reliable this season ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers Week 16 matchup vs. the Houston Texans.
Chargers 'Fill the Field' in Toy Drive for Families in Need
The Los Angeles Chargers partnered with Trina's Kids Foundation in its 8th annual toy drive to fill the SoFi Stadium field from goal-line to goal-line with toys for select families to pick up. In addition to toys, the Bolts also provided other essential items and gifts for the families to help make the holiday season a little easier.
Mic'd Up: Keenan Allen vs Kansas City Chiefs
Chargers Wide Receiver Keenan Allen wired for sound during the Los Angeles Chargers Week 15 Thursday Night Football matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tweets of the Week
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