Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams is still amidst a holdout and the Los Angeles Chargers could be a team that knocks on Washington’s door.
The Washington Redskins are amidst a holdout with one of the most talented offensive linemen in the NFL, Trent Williams. The holdout, which is unlike most, is seemingly about Williams not wanting to be in Washington. One team that could be interested in Williams is a team that just went through its own holdout, the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Los Angeles Chargers are currently one of the more disappointing teams of the 2019 NFL season. Viewed as a prime contender after a great 2018, the Chargers have struggled out of the gate with a 2-3 record and losses to the Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos.
Even their loss to the Houston Texans was brutal and easily reversible. We could change one small thing about each game and the Chargers would be 5-0. But hey, that is the Charger way!
Mike Pouncey’s season-ending neck injury creates more adversity for the Chargers, though the team remains optimistic about its 2019 outlook.
COSTA MESA, Calif. — Whether in response to another major injury or Sunday’s loss to a previously winless opponent, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn took an upbeat tone with his team Wednesday.
“Might as well have a little juice,” Lynn said to open his Wednesday press conference while slapping the podium. “Big ball game Sunday night.”
Lynn’s energy stands in stark contrast to his team’s current predicament. The Chargers placed Mike Pouncey on injured reserve Wednesday after the Pro Bowl center suffered a season-ending neck injury. Pouncey becomes the eighth player the club has put on IR and the third starter. The news comes days after a 20-13 loss at home to the Denver Broncos, dropping the Chargers to a 2-3 overall record. Though the regular season has 12 weeks remaining, Los Angeles already faces more adversity than most teams face in a season.
“We talked about it last week a little bit,” Lynn said about the mood around the Chargers. “What is it, Murphy’s law? What can go wrong will. Well hell, we’ve got to go kick Murphy’s butt. That’s where we’re at.”
Between injuries and Melvin Gordon’s contract holdout, Los Angeles has lost more than 30 game appearances between their starters and key contributors this season. Other than quarterback, the absences have affected every position group. That includes special teams where kicker Michael Badgley has yet to play due to a groin injury. Though other teams in the NFL have dealt with a significant number of injuries, none rival the Chargers this year.
Pouncey’s injury forces third-year man Dan Feeney to move from left guard to center, a shift he made Sunday against the Broncos. Feeney has practiced at Pouncey’s position and filled in for the veteran during the preseason, but all 30 of his regular-season starts have come at elsewhere. Backup Forrest Lamp will take over Feeney’s vacated guard spot for the foreseeable future.
“He’s got a lot of reps,” quarterback Philip Rivers said of Feeney’s experience at his new position. “He’ll step in there do a solid job. We’re confident in him.
“Tough losing Mike though. Obviously, you’ve heard what I’ve said publicly about the guy and what he’s meant to the group. Football field and off. In the locker room and meeting rooms. Just that energy. The guy’s in here at 5:30 every morning. Just the way he goes about it. He brought it every day. You lose more than just the player there.”
Rivers said that Pouncey’s injury “won’t put anything more on my plate” as far as running the offense but admits he will have to adjust to some mechanical changes with a new center.
“I think everybody snaps it a little different,” Rivers said. “Everybody’s timing with how they do things is a little bit different. So, I think from that standpoint, yes. Again, I’ve worked with Dan, but it’s been with the understanding that Pouncey would be the one in there playing on Sunday. It will take a little more focus or paying attention to those little subtilties that will be key from a timing standpoint, from a cadence standpoint, when we get into where we have to use silent count and those sorts of things.”
With Pouncey on the shelf, the Chargers offensive line suddenly lacks a veteran presence. Right guard Michael Schofield now becomes the de facto old man of the group at 28 years old and with 55 starts under his belt. Left tackle Trent Scott, filling in for the still unavailable Russell Okung, has appeared in just 14 games. The rest of the line all entered the league in 2017 and have varying levels of playing experience. Together, they must make the all-important protection calls and adjustments.
“The communication always comes through Phil and then the center,” Lamp said about handling protection calls. “Phil handles a lot of that stuff for us. Then it’ll be through Dan.”
“We’ll all call something out, I don’t think it has to be one specific guy,” Feeney said. “But I like doing it. It’s kind of a challenge for me. It’s kind of like figuring out a puzzle.”
Though Los Angeles has the means to overcome Pouncey’s injury, no team possesses unlimited depth and resilience. After a home matchup with the 1-4 Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chargers play six of their next seven games away from home. That stretch features matchups with the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Kansas City Chiefs, all of which present difficult challenges. Though the Chargers expect some of their injured players to return this season, the team will have to tread water in the interim.
“It’s the National Football League, injuries happen,” Lynn said. “We’re just getting them in bunches right now, but it’s going to slow down. At some point, we’ll start to get guys back.
“But we just got to go play our best ball regardless of the injuries. There’s just times where we haven’t executed or coached as good as we should have.”
This slow start could warrant some activity for a team that usually isn’t very active around the NFL Trade Deadline. With Williams being the marquee name that is potentially available, it would not be surprising to hear that the Chargers inquired about adding his services.
The one problem is that Redskins president Bruce Allen has already made it clear that the team has no plans on trading Williams until the season is over. While that should not be taken lightly, it could also change, as all it takes is pressure from owner Dan Snider or a changing of the guard (which isn’t out of the question) for a trade to take place.
Like every trade, there are pros and cons. Some people may love the idea of trading for Williams, some may hate it. Here is our case for making the trade, as well as our case against, and you can decide which side you fall on.