That was quick. Charger fans’ fears appear to have been confirmed by this set of tweets from San Diego Union-Tribune’s Michael Gehlken regarding Branden Oliver’s injury...
Chargers RB Branden Oliver (Achilles) has been ruled out for the season, source said.— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) August 28, 2016
@sdutGehlken A follow-up from same source: Team to await MRI result Monday before officially declaring Oliver's status for rest of year.— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) August 28, 2016
Really hate to see this for Oliver. Many of us became fans of his quickly when he came in and had a strong showing in the 2014 season during the Jets and Raider games. He likely would have been useful last year, however he went down with an injury and missed the second half of the season. By all accounts he had a good training camp and was primed for a solid showing as the teams third back and primary kick returner.
As mentioned by Richard Wade in the initial post about this injury, this very well could open the door for Kenneth Farrow or Dreamius Smith to earn a roster spot. Also, it leaves a hole in the kick return game as it appears Oliver had earned that role with a strong showing in camp and preseason. Look for someone like Isaiah Burse or even Craig Mager, who has done it a few times in the preseason, to potentially fill that role
With initial roster cuts fast approaching (expected later on today or tomorrow) to get down to 75 players, the timing of this could be interesting. The team will likely get down to 76 players, including Oliver, quickly but have until Tuesday August 30th at 1 pm PST to reach the 75 man limit. It would be shocking to see Oliver not put on season-ending injured reserve, to say the least.
Personally, I’d expect the Chargers to keep a close eye on the waiver wire over the next week as teams will be working their way down to the initial 53-man rosters and add a veteran as that third back. The team could favor this, and adding one of Farrow or Smith to the practice squad, over keeping either of the two on the roster.