Chargers WR Mike Williams to return, S Derwin James doubtful


COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Los Angeles Chargers cannot escape the injury situation that has engulfed their season.

Wide receiver Mike Williams (high ankle sprain) and center Corey Linsley (concussion) will be available to play in a Week 14 matchup against the Miami Dolphins at SoFi Stadium on Sunday Night Football.

However, safety Derwin James (quadricep), defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day (knee) and cornerback Bryce Callahan (groin), as well as right tackle Trey Pipkins III (knee), are doubtful. None participated in practice throughout the week, according to the Chargers’ injury report.

The Chargers are 6-6, sitting just outside the seven-team AFC playoff picture as they prepare for the 8-4 Dolphins led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

“It would be a big challenge for us regardless of if we had all of our players out there,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said Friday. “They’ve been prolific scoring the football, moving the football.”

With five games remaining, the Bolts have a 61.2% chance to make the playoffs, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.

The likely absence of James, Joseph-Day and Callahan could be significant for a defensive unit that already is without edge rusher Joey Bosa, cornerback J.C. Jackson and defensive linemen Austin Johnson, Otito Ogbonnia and Christian Covington — all of whom were placed on injured reserve earlier this season.

“Guys got to step up,” said edge rusher Khalil Mack, who has seven sacks this season. “You got to have guys come in, play ball and be noticed in a good way.”

The Chargers rank 30th in the NFL allowing an average of 25.8 points per game. The Dolphins’ offense ranks eighth in the league in scoring, averaging 23.2 points per game.

On offense, this will be the second consecutive game that quarterback Justin Herbert could be without both starting tackles, as Pipkins nurses a knee injury. Pro Bowl left tackle Rashawn Slater has been on injured reserve since tearing a left biceps tendon in Week 3.

Over the past three games, Herbert has been sacked 14 times — the most of any three-game span in his three-year career.

Williams returns after dealing with a right high ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 7. He attempted a return in Week 11, but played only six snaps as he reaggravated his ankle and missed the ensuing two games.

This could be the first full game this season that Herbert has available both Williams and Keenan Allen, who missed seven games because of a hamstring injury. The wide receiver duo has only been available 5.7% of the Chargers’ total offensive plays this season.



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