Optimism was a word that was being used by players, coaches, and cornerback Jason Verrett during the early stages of the offseason.
During mini camp last month, the Chargers let Verrett participate in some areas of practice. His participation and the fact that he was finally feeling healthy led Verrett to believe he could do something that he hadn’t done since being drafted in 2014; play all 16 games.
On Friday morning, the team went through conditioning drills and that is when Verrett went down with what team officials are now saying is a ruptured Achilles tendon. The team says he will be further evaluated on Saturday, but it looks like the 27-year old cornerback’s season is over before it even starts.
Verrett being injured is nothing new to the Chargers. Since drafting the TCU product in 2014 Verrett has played in 25 out of 64 possible games. In 2015, Verrett had a pro-bowl year in which he played 14 out of 16 games, but he’s now gone four out of five seasons filled with injures.
In 2017 the Chargers had a top three-pass defense led by pro-bowl cornerback Casey Hayward, a second year undrafted free agent Trevor Williams, and rookie Desmond King. This injury means there is an open roster spot for an undrafted free agent or a player on the roster to make noise. Three players to watch are rookie Tony Brown from Alabama, rookie Brandon Facyson from Virginia Tech and second year Jeff Richards. All three players made a lot of plays during mini camp.
This doesn’t mean Jason Verrett’s career is over. He can come back from this injury, but his time donning a Chargers uniform will most certainly come to an end. What is truly sad is that his tenure as a Bolt will always start with the words ‘what if’.
Chargers Make Some Moves
The Chargers made some moves ahead of their first day of training camp, which is on Saturday July 28th at 10 a.m. at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex. The team moved tight end Hunter Henry, guard Forrest Lamp, and Verrett to the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, which means the can come back from injury when they are healed. Verrett’s season is done, but there is optimism that Henry could return from the torn ACL towards the end of the season the way Melvin Ingram did back in 2013. Lamp is coming off a torn ACL and additional surgery, no word yet on a timetable for him.
Rookie first rounder Derwin James and guard Brett Boyko were placed on the NFL’s activate list, which means they suffered an injury outside and will be able to come back as soon as they are healthy. James has a minor muscle injury he suffered at the end of minicamp and beginning of training camp. He is considered day-to-day, according to LA Times Dan Woike.