The San Diego Chargers will likely be missing TE Antonio Gates for a second straight game as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.
Bosa: out— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) September 30, 2016
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Rookie tight end Hunter Henry will continue to get the majority of snaps in Gates absence. Aside from a costly mistake on the last drive of the game, Henry performed well last week against the Indianapolis Colts. Look for him to be heavily involved once again come Sunday afternoon.
The bolts could be short handed along the offensive line this week against the New Orleans Saints, as starting linemen Joe Barksdale (Foot) and Orlando Franklin (Back) are listed as “Questionable” while tackle King Dunlap (Illness) is doubtful to play. Barksdale was a limited participant during Wednesday and Thursday’s practices before sitting out Friday. Guard Orlando Franklin did not participate in Thursdays practice, but was able to go on a limited basis Friday. Dunlap has not practiced all week.
Backup Guard Spencer Pulley seems to be a capable replacement should Franklin not be able to suit up on Sunday. The real issue is at the tackle positions. Chris Hairston, who started in place of Dunlap last week, has a habit of allowing opposing pass rushers to get after Philip Rivers. Against the Colts he was beaten easily and often, and it was obvious Rivers did not trust him in protection. Tyreek Burwell is the other backup at the tackle position.
On defense, Rookie linebacker Jatavis Brown (Hamstring) is listed on the depth chart as “Questionable”. Brown was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday, but was full go for Fridays practice. Hopefully Brown is able to play against the Saints, as he is slated to start with Manti Te’o having been placed on season ending IR with a torn Achilles. Brown is a good run defender and more than capable of holding his own in coverage. Nick Dzubnar will likely start in the event that Brown cannot go.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers suffered a concussion last week in Indianapolis. He has not practiced all week and will be out against the Saints and Craig Mager likely will be starting in his place.
First round pick Joey Bosa will be inactive once again. The Chargers are being extremely cautious with Bosa and are intent on holding him out until he is one hundred percent ready to play. Until then, the only thing to do is wait.