On Friday, the Chargers announced that cornerback Casey Hayward Jr., defensive end Melvin Ingram, and backup defensive end Uchenna Nwosu were all ruled out for the game on Sunday. They also listed running back Kalen Ballage as questionable.
The Chargers did make subsequent moves afterward as well.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Chargers activated cornerback Chris Harris Jr. from the Reserve/Injured list on Friday and other outlets reported that he would be a game-time decision on Sunday.
Essentially, Harris, who has been one of the top cornerbacks in the game in recent years, will fill in for Hayward in the secondary.
The Bills also have to be prepared for the possibility of running back Austin Ekeler being on the field on Sunday. Daniel Popper from The Athletic reported on Friday that Anthony Lynn said that Ekeler ‘has a chance’ to play on Sunday against the Bills.
Ekeler has been out since Week 4 with a hamstring injury.
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What Chargers’ Injuries Mean for Buffalo
Ingram and Hayward are two of Los Angeles’ best defensive players.
Hayward has 30 tackles this season and has deflected six passes in 10 games. 25 of his 30 tackles are also solo tackles. Ingram has only played in seven games this season but has recorded 10 tackles, .5 tackle for a loss, two pass deflections and an interception.
Five different Chargers have just one interception this season.
Rather than focus on the Chargers that will be on the sideline, the possibility of Ekeler and Harris Jr. returning is what matters more. If Ekeler is on the field on Sunday, he brings a whole new element to the Chargers offense.
Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert is playing at an elite level and adding Ekeler into the mix would give him another weapon to attack defenses with.
Although he’s been out since Week 4, Ekeler is still second on the team in rushing yards (248) as the Chargers have struggled to establish the run. Ekeler would help reestablish that dimension of their game and would give Herbert one of the best pass-catching backs in the league.
In his first year with the Chargers, Harris Jr. hasn’t been able to find the field. ESPN’s Shelley Smith reported that the Chargers placed Harris Jr. on the injured reserve list with a foot injury on Sept. 29, just two days after the Chargers lost to the Carolina Panthers.
Although he’s been out, he’s been one of the best corners in recent years and has 20 interceptions and over 90 passes defended in his career.
Bills Have a Few Injuries Of Their Own
On Friday, Bills head coach Sean McDermott reported that wide receiver John Brown would be out for their matchup against the Chargers with an ankle injury that he suffered against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10.
He also announced that offensive tackle Cody Ford would be out for the season after suffering a knee injury in practice earlier this week. The former Oklahoma Sooner was working back from an ankle injury he suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9.
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