The San Diego Chargers have 2 weeks to make a playoff push. They will need to win at San Francisco and Kansas City with a little help from some AFC North friends. The problem today is that injuries continue to plague the team and some players are now gone for the season.
Donald Butler has been placed on injured reserve. The middle linebacker suffered a dislocated elbow vs. the Broncos. He ends the season with 45 solo tackles, 73 in total, 1 sack, and 3 fumbles recovered.
Keenan Allen will mist the rest of the regular season with a broken collarbone. The hope is that Allen can return by the 1st round of the playoffs. Allen is key to the Chargers offense as he opens up coverage for Malcolm Floyd and Eddie Royal to excel. Hopefully if the Chargers make the playoffs, we will see Allen healthy for the first round.
Ryan Matthews is still working on rehab for his sprained ankle. He suffered the injury vs. the New England Patriots and he needs to be healthy for playoffs. The hope for him is the same as Allen where Matthews can miss the next 2 weeks as long as he is 100% for the playoffs.
Phillip Rivers has not practiced all week with chest and back pain. There should be concern though because Rivers is a warrior who is ready to go once game time hits. Whether he is playing with a sore back or a few sore ribs, Rivers will get through it because it gives the team something more to fight for.
Corey Liuget has a nagging ankle injury that he suffered vs. New England. Liuget is expected to tough it out and play but it is a situation to monitor. Liuget finally has the help of Melvin Ingram and Dwight Freeney to open up the Chargers pass rush. If all 3 players can hit full cylinders together then the possibilities are endless for the defense.
Ladarius Green is still moving through concussion protocol in recover and has an ankle injury. Green needs to come back healthy because he is the guy next to Antonio Gates to give defenses fits. He is necessary for Gates to truly have a chance against any defense.
The Chargers have been fighting the injury bug all season. As these injuries come up so close to playoffs, it will be next man up for those who cannot play. The best teams are made when players step up in playoff time and this is the time for heroes to rise.