The Chargers feared the worst when rookie guard Forrest Lamp was carted off the field midway through Wednesday's practice.
Unfortunately, those fears were confirmed as the team announced the second-round pick suffered a torn ACL in his right knee.
"I talked to Forrest, and he was very disappointed," Head Coach Anthony Lynn said. "We're going to miss him. He was really getting better each day. It's unfortunate, but like I've told him, things happen for a reason. He's going to get some time off, so make sure he makes the most of it. But he'll still be in it. He's going to be around, and be in it mentally. He'll remain an important part of the team."
The news is disappointing, to say the least, as the team had high hopes for the 38th overall pick. A four-year starter and two-time team captain at Western Kentucky, Lamp was a two-time first-team Conference USA pick and third-team All-American.
So, what did Lynn tell the players after learning of the news?
"I just went into the O-Line meeting room and told them Forrest is going to be out. Now it's time for someone else to step up. We've had a good competition going on over there, and it's still a good competition with guys competing for that spot. But we've lost Forrest, and that's tough. I encouraged them to call him because as you'd imagine, he's a little down. So we're going to pick up his spirits."
The Bolts didn't need any prodding.
Several of Lamp's teammates were already in the process of reaching out to the rookie, including a couple who just came off a similar injury.
"We're praying for him and wish him well" said Jason Verrett, who is nearing the end of rehab on his own ACL injury. "From a mental perspective, it's going to be tough. I want to tell him this is a chance to get his mind even stronger. You're going to be dealing with a lot of ups and downs. There's going to be adversity. I advise him to reach out to other linemen who have dealt with (ACL injuries) in the past to make sure he's doing the best possible rehab. Make sure he gets all the possible opinions from doctors."
Caraun Reid just went through his own ACL rehab and echoed a similar sentiment.
"It's going to be hard mentally. It takes a lot of patience. These initial two weeks are going to be the toughest. Just know once you get moving around, it'll be fine. So you need patience. That really was the biggest thing for me, and even now, that's the case with the process. Also know now that ACL's are a common sports injury. You're not alone. You're going to come back stronger."
In the meantime, the Chargers are going to need someone to step into Lamp's shoes. Matt Slauson and Russell Okung are the undisputed leaders of the offensive line, and explained the unit's outlook.
"It was really tough to see one of our guys go down," Slauson said. "It's really sad. He's worked extremely hard and put in a lot (of effort) all spring. It's a rough sport, and we feel for him. So we're going to grind for him. He's going to be with us, and we're going to grind for him."
"Number one, we've got to encourage Forrest and let him know that injuries are a part of this game," Okung added. "We're definitely going to miss him, but we've got some good guys here still who are going to work and fight for a job. They've been fighting all OTAs and mini camp to prove themselves worthy. They are in a position to compete for a job, and we trust them. But we're thinking of Forrest, and we're encouraging him to stay on course."