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Philip Rivers Injury Updates

The Chargers announced that TE Hunter Henry suffered a tibia plateau fracture to his left knee in Sunday's win over the Colts. For what it's worth, this is the opposite knee in which he tore his ACL last spring. Henry will "continue to be evaluated" and a timetable for his return "has not yet been determined," per the team's statement. There are 3 instances of a tibia plateau fracture in Sports Injury Predictor's database. Those guys (Nate Burleson, Anthony Hitchens and Daniel Sorensen) missed anywhere from 1 to 3 months. We should learn more about Henry's status over the next few days, but fantasy owners obviously need to plan to be without him for a while. Virgil Green is currently the Chargers' backup TE. (We'll see if they try to bring Antonio Gates back.) Henry's absence will push even more targets to WR Keenan Allen and RB Austin Ekeler.

Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Chargers are expecting Henry to miss 4-6 weeks.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Chargers will be activating rookie WR Mike Williams from the PUP and adding him to the 53-man roster. That's a surprising move after Williams spent the summer dealing with a back injury. He seemed a strong candidate to open the regular season on the PUP. This decision signals that Chargers coaches expect the 1st-round pick to be ready to contribute within the season's 1st quarter. We'd still be wary of expecting any fantasy value from Williams, but the added pass-catching talent can only help Philip Rivers.

The Chargers selected Clemson WR Mike Williams with the 7th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. He joins a loaded offense that also includes Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates. A scary neck injury cost Williams almost the entire 2015 campaign. But he turned in a strong 57-1,030-6 line as a sophomore and then exploded for 98 catches, 1,361 yards and 11 TDs this past year. Williams is a mediocre athlete who doesn’t create much separation at the top of his routes, but strong body control and hands make him dominant in contested situations. The question is whether those skills will translate to the next level against stronger DBs. Los Angeles isn’t an ideal landing spot, with loads of target competition in the short term and a QB question long term (Philip Rivers is 35).

Chargers WR Keenan Allen suffered an apparent right knee injury in the 2nd quarter of Sunday's game against the Chiefs. He had to be carted off the field. This obviously looks like a significant injury, but we'll update his status when we learn more. His absence would leave San Diego with WRs Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman atop the WR depth chart. TE Antonio Gates would probably be the biggest beneficiary.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers doesn't expect to need surgery on the bulging disc in his back.  "At this point, the back injury is not requiring surgery," he said. "We'll kind of revisit it in a month or so. But everything is improving. I'm back to my regular workouts and running around."  Rivers played through back and rib injuries over the 2nd half of the season.  It's unclear exactly when the injuries occurred, but his play noticeably tailed off starting in Week 9.  Rivers completed 68% of his passes and averaged 277 yards and 2.5 TDs over his first 8 games.  Over the last 8, those numbers dropped to 65%, 259 yards and 1.4 TDs.  A healthy Rivers is still plenty capable of QB1 production in 2015.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Chargers QB Philip Rivers' status for Saturday night's game against the 49ers is "up in the air."  Rivers has yet to practice this week and is listed on the injury report with chest and back issues.  Of course, he's been playing through a rib injury for a while and even played with a torn ACL back in 2007.  "I expect him to play," HC Mike McCoy said Wednesday.  So do we, but Rivers will be tough to trust in fantasy lineups.  He's tossed multiple TDs in just 1 of his last 6 games.

"I'm no more banged up than other quarterback in the league," Philip Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Monday. "All good." Rivers was responding to reports -- generated by TE Antonio Gates -- that he's dealing with a "very severe" rib injury. HC Mike McCoy also chimed in that Rivers hasn't missed any practice time. "He's good to go," the coach said, acknowledging that he was concerned before hearing the diagnosis from doctors. "He's a warrior. He's one of the best in the business. He's one of the toughest in the business, if not the toughest at that position." Gates also backed off his own initial report on Monday. We're certainly not questioning Rivers' toughness or implying that fantasy owners should forget about starting him in the near future. But Rivers definitely hasn't been himself of his past couple of outings, especially Sunday against a flammable Raiders D. And we can't see why Gates would make something up about his QB's health or go public with such strong words if he were just speculating. We'd try not to use Rivers this weekend in a Rams matchup that would be tough even for a healthy QB. We'll re-evaluate him after Sunday.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Chargers QB Philip Rivers is dealing with bruised ribs and possible cartilage damage.  It's the type of injury that guys can play through, although the pain can be tough.  The rib issue probably has plenty to do with Rivers' shaky play lately.  Over his last 4 games, he's completed 62.8% of his passes, averaged 6.1 yards per attempt and tossed 6 TDs and 6 INTs.  Next up is a Rams defense that's racked up 18 sacks over its last 5 games.

Chargers TE Antonio Gates revealed after Sunday's game that QB Philip Rivers has dealing with a "very severe" rib injury for the past few weeks.  Rivers hasn't been listed on the injury report all year.  We sure would have like to have known about the injury before now.  Rivers looked skittish in the pocket against Oakland and threw for just 193 yards and 1 TD.  That followed a 138-yard, 0-TD, 3-INT outing against Miami prior to the bye.  Rivers also injured his knee in Sunday's win, although he was able to play through it.  Banged-up and not playing well, he'll be a risky fantasy starter against the Rams in Week 12.

Wow.  The Chargers might be charged with burglary after stealing Cal WR Keenan Allen in Round 3.  Once viewed by many as this class' top wideout, Allen presumably slid because of health questions.  He ended 2012 with a knee injury and has also dealt with an ankle injury that required an April re-check by NFL doctors.  When healthy, Allen can play any WR spot on the field.  He'll be a welcome addition for QB Philip Rivers, who just might be playing for his job.  Allen should battle the likes of Danario Alexander, Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown for lead targets among Chargers wideouts.  He looks like a late-round flier in your 2013 fantasy football draft.

Chargers C Nick Hardwick (concussion) might miss the week 16 game at Tampa Bay.  "Again, we know with the head injuries we'll be super careful. Everything was very positive in terms of where he is right now," said Norv Turner. 
Philip Rivers left the game early in the 2nd quarter with an apparent left knee injury. Billy Volek finished the half and then Rivers returned to start the 2nd half.
Philip Rivers took some reps Wednesday despite a painful knee injury that knocked him out for two series at Tennessee. "It was pretty sore this morning, but it shouldn't be anything I can't manage and get better during the week," Rivers said Monday. It's rumored to be a slightly torn MCL but he can wear a brace and get through it.
One of the best lines in football the last few years, this group continues to blow defenders up despite three different O-line coaches in four years. They've paved the way for L.T. & Co. to rush for over 2,000 yards in each of the last four seasons, tying Denver for the longest active streak. The Chargers struck gold in the 2nd round last year when they drafted LT Marcus McNeill. He started every game and many felt the 6'7/338-lb McNeill should have won Rookie of the Year. RT Shane Olivea and RG Mike Goff never get any credit but they consistently beat people up in the 4th quarter. C Nick Hardwick is entering his 4th season and has become a durable, quality leader. His presence will allow Philip Rivers to grow into a superstar. LG Kris Dielman tested free agency and got re-signed to a 6-year deal for $39 million. Too much for a good-but-not-elite lineman, but then again, San Diego had the cap room. They've seen what happens when you keep 5 guys intact for a few years (read: Colts, Bengals, Steelers) so keeping Dielman was the right move. Reserve C/G Cory Withrow is a gutsy player. Reserve T Cory Lekkerkerker has upside, but T Roman Oben is losing his skills due to age/injuries. Depth is a concern. We were shocked the Chargers didn't draft an offensive lineman. They took TE Scott Chandler in the 4th round, passing G Josh Beekman (Boston College) right to Chicago one pick later. One scout told us Beekman "will be a fixture for the Bears one day." Overall you won't find a better group of 5 guys but if injuries hit San Diego all bets are off.
Chargers LT Marcus McNeill sustained a broken right hand Monday night. Team officials say he won't miss a game but we'll see about that. LT Roman Oben (foot), the usual starter, is eligible to come off PUP next week. Reserve OT Leander Jordan has a neck injury and might go on IR. Overall this line is holding up well and has enough depth for now.
Chargers RG Mike Goff sustained a groin injury vs. Tennessee and will have tests done today.
 
 
 

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