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Tom Telesco calls Chargers’ injury-prone narrative ‘overblown’

The Bolts lost nine starters for at least three games at one point or another throughout the 2022 season.

NFL Combine - Day 1

Tom Telesco spoke to the media for the first time since the 2022-2023 season came to an end late Thursday morning where he fielded the expected questions regarding the team’s performance this past season, Brandon Staley’s performance through two seasons, and how the Chargers can get better going into the 2023 offseason.

At one point, Telesco was asked about the team’s injury woes this season, with the reporter going as far as to call it a “epidemic” that ran through the team. Telesco didn’t totally agree with the notion that the Chargers were injury prone this season as he would go on to call the notion “overblown” that the team was one of the most-injured clubs this past season.

But that math sure isn’t mathing for me.

Of the original 22 offensive/defensive starters for the Chargers in ahead of week one, nine different players missed at least three games in 2022, including four players that missed at least nine games. Those players were left tackle Rashawn Slater (14 games missed), edge rusher Joey Bosa (12), cornerback J.C. Jackson (12), and defensive tackle Austin Johnson (nine). All but one of those players is a former All-Pro selection or Pro Bowler.

Among the other five players to miss at least three games included All-Pro center Corey Linsley (three), wideouts Keenan Allen (seven) and Mike Williams (four), and safety Derwin James (three).

In total, that’s 67 total games missed with 21 of those coming from players signed during the offseason to help improve the team’s defense in year two under Brandon Staley.

I wasn’t expecting there to be anything super enlightening or thought-provoking from Telesco’s presser as he usually stays pretty conservative with his answers, but this answer really caught my ear and it should have caught the ear of just about everyone else who sat through 18 Chargers games this season. While Telesco could easily be looking at numbers for “total” injuries when coming to his conclusions, there’s just no way the Bolts were anywhere near the league average when it came to the tangible impact their injuries had on the season.