Here's the injury report leading up to today's game against the Texans
|Kris Dielman||G||Neck||Full Participation||Probable|
Here is the Texans Report
|Darryl Sharpton||LB||Ankle||Full Participation||Probable|
|Karl Paymah||CB||Wrist||Full Participation||Probable|
|Stanford Keglar||LB||Thigh||Full Participation||Probable|
|Garrett Graham||TE||Shoulder||Full Participation||Probable|
|Mike Brisiel||G||Knee||Full Participation||Probable|
|Kevin Bentley||LB||Knee||Full Participation||Probable|
|Earl Mitchell||DT||Ankle||Full Participation||Questionable|
Antonio Gates is worse than ever. Although he is a game-time decision, expect him to play. I say that because he may mis his first regular season game due to the injury, and he is the only elite receiver on the team. Gates is the focus of the passing game, as he opens up everything. Rivers could arguably manage to pull out a win even without him, and doing so would only make him seem more of an unstoppable force on a stoppable team. But he needs receivers. With the signing of WR Kelley Washington, there is obviously a glaring need for healthy pass catchers. Unlike Tennessee, Houston has a weak pass defense, so chances are, Philip Rivers will manage to get a good number of throws in to his slew of relative no-name receivers. With no Running backs on the injury report again, it's looking like Rookie Ryan Mathews is fully healthy and that means a run based offense. The more time the defense can rest, the better their chances of stopping the Texans and their quite prolific rushing attack.
Brandon Siler is already known as a stud against the running game. How/if he'll play can determine how/if this front seven can handle the Texans. Their offense runs a zone blocking scheme, which should play to Kevin Burnett's strengths. Expect Burnett's play to have a big effect on whether or not Arian Foster is a force or not. Like always, Ron Rivera will have many spread over formations with a safety flanking the box to make up for injuries along the second line.
Kris Brown returns home, replacing the injured Nate Kaeding. He may have something to prove after going from a career best year to a career worst year leading up to his release. Goodman has looked like a big upgrade over CJ Spillman and hopefully will be able to play 100% in the return game. Hopefully, McMichael doesn't whiff on punt blocking this game.
Bottom line, while the Chargers have fewer injuries in total, the impact is greater. IR players, lost players and injured ones will keep a tilt favored to Houston, but Norv Turner always has a plan, and Ron Rivera has an obvious trust in his defense executing their plays correctly. If they can correct their mistakes from last week, Rivera will take his #1 defense into the bye week and return with something even greater. 30-20 Chargers.