COSTA MESA – The Chargers were without four of their top defensive linemen during Wednesday’s practice.
Chargers star edge rusher Joy Bosa and defensive tackles Jerry Tillery and Christian Covington were placed on the COVID-19 reserve list. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph missed practice due to a shoulder injury.
Bosa tested negative for COVID-19, according to Chargers coach Brandon Staley, but Bosa was required to quarantine for five days as he was deemed a close contact of Tillery, who had tested positive for COVID-19. had tested positive for -19.
Staley said Bossa could return to the squad as soon as possible on Saturday, a day before the Chargers host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. Bosa has reportedly not been vaccinated and Tillery has been vaccinated. The NFL requires unconnected players to quarantine for five days if close contact is deemed.
According to Staley, the situation is not as clear for Covington because he had a negative test result between two positive results.
On Wednesday, the Chargers signed defensive tackle Breedan Fehoko to the active roster and added veteran defensive tackle Kairon Reid to the practice squad.
Defensive tackle Justin Jones was the lone starter to practice with an internal defensive lineman during individual practice in practice. If Tillery, Covington and Joseph are not available against the Steelers, Jones could line up next to Fehoko and Joe Gazziano. The Chargers’ practice squad consists of defensive tackle Forrest Merrill, Andrew Brown and Reid.
“We’re just going to go ahead with the guys that we have, who we’re training,” Staley said of the backup defensive tackle. “Luckily for us, those guys have played games for us. We trust them because they are out there. We know who they are, know their strengths and weaknesses.”
Bossa, Tillery and Covington join linebacker Drew Tranquil on the COVID-19 reserve list. Tranquil was added to the list last week and missed the game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Staley said he is pleased with how his players have handled COVID-19 protocols around practice and the team facility.
“We have outside team meetings,” Staley said. “We never get inside as a big group. Our lifting groups are organized where our non-vaccinated people are completely different from everyone else. The numbers have a really nice distribution, so that we Stay safe and sound in meeting rooms, whether it’s team meetings, position rooms. They’re organized accordingly. And we make sure the NFL is fully aware of our setup, and like I said, everyone within our organization They have access to the video. They also have spot checkers interacted with the union.
“I’m very comfortable with the way we’ve addressed things. The issue was more or less, I think, something coming out of the game, you know, when they’re in the locker room, you know, Which I mean, it’s just our locker room. But everything else our people are doing a great job. I think it’s been our team’s strength how we’ve handled it from spring time till now. Now we have It has to be ensured that we create even more awareness for this as it is starting to increase little by little across the country.”
Chargers security Darwin James said the problem with Staley’s headset first started last week in the second quarter against the Vikings.
James said he could not hear Staley’s defensive call through his helmet and turned off the signal and moved closer to shore when he had time. But James said technical difficulties did not affect the defense’s performance in the 27–20 loss to the Vikings.
“It’s part of the game, you have to be able to adjust,” James said. “I’m not here to blame. That’s because I feel like we still get off the ground sometimes and there are still plays out there.”
Staley commended James for his handling of the communication situation.
“It was not something that affected the game,” Staley said. “The calls were fine there. Just got off our headsets. It was actually a technical error that we addressed with the NFL. Darwin managed it really well.”
Davis returns to practice
Cornerback Michael Davies, who missed the last two matches due to a hamstring injury, returned to practice on Wednesday.
Davis, the team’s No. 1 outside corner, was listed as a limited participant on injury reports.
Safety Nasser Adderley (ankle) and running back Justin Jackson (quadricep) were also listed as limited participants. Adderley was sidelined against the Vikings last week and Jackson has missed the last two games.