The Chargers are 1-2 after three games.
Here are five takeaways from Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley on Monday:
1. Slater likely out for season
The Chargers believe left tackle Rashawn Slater will miss the rest of the 2022 season with a biceps injury.
"We believe that is going to be the case," said Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley.
Slater, the 13th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, was a Pro Bowler and earned Second-Team All-Pro honors as a rookie.
One of the top young tackles in the game, Slater's loss is a massive one for the Bolts. According to analytics website Pro Football Focus, Slater's season grade of 84.0 was the third-best among all offensive tackles so far this season.
Slater played 33 snaps Sunday before exiting with his injury in the third quarter. He was replaced by Storm Norton, who played the final 28 snaps at left tackle.
"Rashawn is an All-Pro player. He is one of the best tackles in the game," Staley said. "It's going to be a tough loss for us."
Staley also noted that the team is hopeful that center Corey Linsley, who missed Week 3 with a knee injury, will return Sunday against the Texans.
"Corey is improving. He improved, really, over the last three or four days," Staley said. "Really hopeful that he's back in practice this week."
As to how the Chargers will configure the offensive line in Slater's absence, Staley said the team will look at all options in the coming days.
"We're going to make sure, over the next couple of days, that we put good contingencies in place, that we put a group out there that can really play together, give us a chance to be the offense that we're capable of being," Staley said. "We're going to have to get to work over the next couple of days in order to get that done."
The main objective, Staley said, will be to try and get the best unit on the field without having to re-shuffle the line too much.
"That's what we're going to try and determine, moving forward, is not trying to make too many moves where there is going to be a lot of moving pieces, where guys could potentially be doing a lot of new things," Staley said. "We're going to try and keep things as consistent as we can.
"What you can bank on is us putting the five guys out there that we feel like give us the best offensive line to be successful," Staley added. "That's going to be our approach over the next couple of days, finding that right combination of five."
Whichever combination is out there against the Texans, Staley said, will need to play better than the overall unit has through three games.
"I thought that, as a group, we didn't play well enough up front. I think that was clear,' Staley said of Sunday. "I don't look at the individual operation up front, I just don't think that we performed well enough as a group.
"That's really all over our football team, but on offense, we just need to play together at a lot higher level, play with more physicality, get into a rhythm," Staley added. "I didn't think that we did that yesterday. I thought, at the line of scrimmage, that that team definitely had the upper hand. We have to do a lot better at the point of attack."
2. Allen likely to return to practice this week
Staley also provided an update on wide receiver Keenan Allen, who has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury.
"I think that you should see him back in practice this week," Staley said.
In other news to the wide receiver room, Jalen Guyton tore his ACL in the final minutes of the fourth quarter Sunday and will miss the rest of the season, Staley said Monday.
Guyton had two catches for 64 yards against the Jaguars, including a 54-yard reception early in the third quarter.
Much like at left tackle, Staley said the team is weighing options at wide receiver.
"He was playing a good game. I think a lot in this player," Staley said of Guyton. "It's one of those really tough losses.
"We're going to work through that over the next couple of days," Staley added. "We certainly feel good about the receivers that are on our team. We'll just keep you guys posted over the next couple of days if anything happens."
Guyton, who joined the Chargers in 2019, has 61 career catches for 1,023 yards and six scores.
3. Still a long road ahead
The Chargers are not even a quarter of the way through the season, something Staley took note of Monday afternoon.
Yet after a Week 1 win over the Raiders and a narrow road loss to the Chiefs in Week 2, Staley also knows there is plenty of work for his team to do after a 28-point home loss in Week 3.
"It's part of the NFL. We lost the third game in September. We have 14 games ahead of us, for sure," Staley said. "The Houston Texans are right in front of us. What we have to do over the next 48 hours is put a really good gameplan together.
"We have some work to do, as you guys said, in terms of adjustments from a personnel standpoint, which is going to affect our plan of attack," Staley continued. "We have to get to those adjustments. Then, we have to stay together.
"We have to make sure that we communicate through this, really learn from what happened yesterday, tell the truth about what happened the best way we know how," Staley added, "and then come back on Wednesday a different football team, a better football team that's headed towards Houston."
Staley said he will rely on his coaching staff and team leaders to help get the team back on track against the Texans in Week 4.
Defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day, a captain in his first season with the Chargers, was among the players who stepped up Sunday by giving a locker room speech postgame.
"There are going to be moments where you have said all that you can say, as a coach, and that they don't need to hear from you, they need to hear from one of their teammates," Staley said. "That's how it is in sports.
"It's definitely not uncommon, nor is it the first time that it has ever happened," Staley added. "That's a good thing that that is happening around here, especially coming from someone like Sebastian."
4. An update on Bosa and Jackson
Staley also provided injury updates on outside linebacker Joey Bosa and cornerback J.C. Jackson on Monday.
Bosa, who left midway through the first quarter, has a "significant groin injury" and is "week-to-week."
"It's of the nature of not day-to-day; it'll probably be week-to-week," said Staley, who added he wasn't sure if Bosa would go on Injured Reserve. "We'll keep giving you more information as it becomes available in terms of the actual recovery time."
Bosa, who has 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble this season, played just 13 snaps against the Jaguars. He has also been stout against the run in 2022.
Meanwhile, Jackson was inactive in Week 3. The cornerback did not play in Week 1 before playing every defensive snap against the Chiefs in Week 2.
Staley said Jackson is dealing with "inflammation" with his ankle and that there aren't any structural issues.
"Making sure that he doesn't go out there and have something else happen. There was just some inflammation that we were taking a look at, and being cautious, looking at the long term," Staley said. "That's why I said that there wasn't a setback, per se, just had to do more with inflammation than anything inside of the ankle."
Staley reiterated that the team has just been cautious with Jackson after his team debut in Week 2.
"He was cleared to play and all that," Staley said. "He was cleared to play in that game, and played well in that game, but I think afterward we just wanted to make sure, moving forward, that nothing serious happened long-term. Just being on the safe side for this past game."
5. Herbert came out OK
One final injury update: Staley said quarterback Justin Herbert came out of Sunday's game OK.
"I will tell you that he made it out of the game healthy," Staley said. "We have to continue to rest and recover as we go, but no setbacks at the game."
Herbert started after being questionable to play with a rib injury.
Staley said he was in constant communication with Herbert throughout the game and also on Monday in the team facility.
"He and I are on the same page. We were on the same page on the field, and we are on the same page now," Staley said. "Going through something tough like that, a game like that, I know it that brings you a lot closer. I'm looking forward to getting back to work with him."
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