It’s official, the injury curse did not leave town with Jason Verrett.
The #Chargers suffered a tough loss yesterday in practice. Sources say star safety Derwin James will be out a significant amount of time, but how much is still undetermined, as of now. He injured his foot yesterday and was spotted in a boot today.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 16, 2019
Awful news. Derwin is one of the most important pieces of this defense. He made an immediate impact as a rookie and the hope that with more pieces around him and another year in the system he would only improve from there.
We also apparently know what the injury is already:
#Chargers injury update— Tim Cates (@timcates) August 16, 2019
Derwin James was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. He will continue to be evaluated, and the course of treatment is still to be determined.
Some initial googling of a fifth metatarsal fracture is pretty scary, however I did stumble upon this study. According to that study, over a 10 year period from 2004 to 2014, there were 25 NFL players with a “Jones Fracture,” a fracture to the fifth metatarsal. Of those 25 players, the average RTP (return to play, defined as playing in a game not just returning to practice) was 8.7 weeks. They also list the shortest RTP was 5.9 weeks, the longest 13.6 weeks).
Currently we are in week 2 of the NFL Preseason, which means based on that study, we could see Derwin return anywhere from week 4 at the Miami Dolphins to week 11 in Mexico City against the Kansas City Chiefs, with the most likely timeline having him back in time for week 7 at the Tennessee Titans.
We will likely know more soon, and while there’s no real way to make this news not terrible, if you’re searching for a bright side it’s that the first month of the season is the easiest part of the schedule this year, and the Chargers only have one divisional game in the first half of the season.
Based on other tweets from today’s practice, it appears that Adrian Phillips is next man up at SS. Phillips really exploded last year and is a great fall back, but he isn’t Derwin James.
My understanding is #Chargers S Derwin James (5th metatarsal stress fracture) has consulted with Dr. Robert Anderson already, has received his opinion & is in the process of determining what next steps he wants to take, per source.— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) August 16, 2019
Dr. Anderson is one of the contributors/co-authors of the study I referenced earlier. I think this likely means surgery and a return sometime between week 5-8.