Perryman expected to be back in lineup when the Chargers resume season Nov. 12 at Jacksonville
Rarely does an NFL coach walk to the podium on a Monday after a game to deliver positive injury news.
But in a world filled with joint sprains, ligament tears and bone breaks, Anthony Lynn and the Chargers got to spend time talking about someone being healed for a change — an important component that could help balance out a pretty solid defense.
Linebacker Denzel Perryman, sidelined since the first preseason game after surgery on his left ankle, is set to take the field in two weeks when the Chargers resume their season at Jacksonville.
Heading into their bye week, Lynn said he not only expects Perryman to play. He expects him to return to the top of the depth chart.
“Denzel’s been practicing for the last couple of weeks anyways, so I have a pretty good idea where he’s at,” Lynn said. “But, I think it’s safe to say he could slide right back in and start.”
Perryman is eligible to come off the injured reserve list this week, though the transaction could wait until after the Chargers return Monday. They won’t practice at all during their bye week.
“I just want them to get away and recharge,” Lynn said. “It’s something Mike Holmgren used to do with his team, with the Packers. He had one of the best bye week records in the league at the time. I thought about that. And, I just thought about the season we’ve had so far. It’s been a grind. …And I need some time just to spend with the coaches with the players out of the building as well.”
The Chargers will examine how to best use Perryman, a developing leader at middle linebacker in his third season. He should bolster their struggling run defense, which has improved in the last three games, and give them desperately needed depth at their thinnest position on defense.
“It’s going to be great having him back, just his energy level and what he brings to the defense,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “He’s very well-respected. I think a lot of the players when they saw him start to practice and getting in some reps they were excited about that. So I think with the linebacker situation I’m anticipating him starting, coming and doing that. But just the rotations, now we’re trying to move some guys in and out, and hopefully in the coming week we’ll see him practice and kind of solidify that part of it.”
In the past, the Chargers would have a string of good luck with injuries, knock on wood and probably break a hand or something.
But so far this season, the team has flipped the narrative on the injury front, avoiding colossal disasters through the season’s first eight weeks.
IRookie lineman Forrest Lamp and cornerback Jason Verrett were sidelined because of knee injuries and lineman Matt Slauson because of a biceps tear. But other than those three, the team has been mostly injury-free.
First-round pick Mike Williams has recovered from back problems, avoiding surgery to work his way back onto the field. Melvin Gordon has been banged up but hasn’t missed a start. Starting offensive lineman Joe Barksdale has been dealing with turf toe.
But otherwise, as far as key contributors go, injuries haven’t been a factor.
“I think, overall, this team has been pretty healthy the first half of the season,” Lynn said. “That was one of our goals going into the offseason, to do some things differently in our offseason program and our training room. I think the guys have done a pretty good job of that.”
Williams saw his snaps increase Sunday at New England, playing a season-high 22 snaps. Safety Jahleel Addae was the only Charger to play all 86 snaps on defense. …Lynn is scheduled to attend Game 6 of The World Series on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. …While the players won’t be back until Monday, Chargers coaches will continue to work, looking back on the first eight weeks while readying for their Nov. 12 game at Jacksonville. …Lynn said that rookie Dan Feeney, who replaced Slauson at left guard, played well in his first start Sunday.
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