The Bolts announced on Wednesday that Derwin James had successful knee surgery and will be placed on Injured Reserve.
While the situation is tough, and head coach Anthony Lynn said it'll be hard to replace James given his intangibles, it's an opportunity for younger players to step up.
One of those younger guys is Nasir Adderley.
The former second-round pick of the Bolts is feeling confident in approaching whatever comes his way in 2020.
"I'm prepared and I trust my preparation," Adderley said. "I'm confident wherever they want to put me, whether that's free safety, strong safety, nickel. Coach Milo (defensive backs coach Ron Milus) does a great job making sure we're versatile and learning every single position."
The former Blue Hen had a standout career at Delaware amassing 64 tackles, 22 passes defensed, 11 interceptions and four forced fumbles in four years. Additionally, he led the team in interceptions (four) and passes defensed (seven) his senior season.
Unfortunately, a nagging hamstring injury bothered Adderley his rookie year with the Chargers and he was placed on injured reserve in Week 8.
But it's been a long journey back and now fully healthy, he's appreciative of being able to play the game he loves without limitations.
"I was just telling some of the coaches, it's really a blessing just being out here after how long because I haven't been fully healthy for a while just going back to my grade-three ankle sprain I had in college and right into the hamstring that kept lingering and lingering and getting worse," he said. "I'm just thankful to be out here and I'm not taking any day for granted."
Back at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, Lynn called 2019 a "redshirt year" for Adderley and was hopeful that sitting out gave him a chance to learn from the veterans. Ask Adderley about 2019 and he'll tell you that the mental reps he took coupled with the veteran guidance he gained helped him tremendously.
"Being off the field was really hard for me 'cause I didn't miss any games my college career. One of my teammates from back in college he told me, when you're off the field, it's a great time to engage mentally and those mental reps could be crucial. I see them benefitting me on the field now … Especially last year just being around guys like DJ (Derwin James,) Rayshawn (Jenkins,) Desmond (King,) those guys can play anywhere and they taught me a whole lot and I love playing with these guys."
Even defensive coordinator Gus Bradley noted a shift. As it goes, the biggest jump a player should take in the NFL is from year one to year two, and with Adderley saying that the game has "slowed down a lot," it seems 2020 will be predicated more on doing and not as much on thinking.
"Nas, he's done a really good job," Bradley reflected. "Just his mindset is changed, how he approaches the game. Those things that he's doing and he's showing up on the field in a consistent effort, he's caught our eye. We're fortunate to have a guy like that (who has) really taken a big step from where he was last year to this year."
Check out some photos from Wednesday, September 2nd's session of Chargers Training Camp 2020, presented by SoFi.